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Football

Bartomeu, admits rejecting massive bid for Ansu Fati during his tenure

Ansu Fati has been on the headlines since Lionel Messi parted ways with his long time club to Paris Saint Germain.

Ansu Fati who had not featured during the last games of the last season returned to action this season a few weeks ago with a bang donning Barcelona’s number 10 shirt.

Amidst the continuing financial problems that continues to pin down the operations of Barcelona at Camp Nou, former Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has confirmed that the club received an offer of $174m from an unnamed Premier League side for wonderkid Ansu Fati.

At aged 10, Fati joined La Masia from the Sevilla youth ranks and from there has steadily gone through the age groups, impressing along the way.

Ansu Fati made his Barcelona debut in August of 2019, coming on as a substitute in a 5-2 victory over Real Betis.

Barça renew Ansu Fati and increase release clause to €170M - AS.com

Ansu Fati ; Photo Credit – AS English

The appearance would make him the second-youngest player ever to feature for the club, at 16 years and 298 days.

He would subsequently become Barcelona’s youngest ever goal-scorer.

Fati is also the youngest player ever to score in the Champions League, the youngest ever to score two goals in a single La Liga game, and the youngest ever to record a goal and an assist in a single La Liga game.

He was officially promoted to the first team in 2020/21 and started the season superbly before suffering a serious knee injury that would ultimately see him miss nine months of action.

Fati has since returned and has been given Lionel Messi’s number 10 shirt after the Argentine departed for Paris Saint-Germain.

He is viewed as the heir to Messi at the club and the player who will lead their attack for the foreseeable future.

Bertomeu speaks

Bartomeu, who was excited as Barcelona president a year ago, confirmed that Barcelona rejected a massive bid for Fati during his tenure.

“It was from an English club,” he replied to Mundo Deportivo when asked if a bid of $174m was tabled.

“It would have been a direct benefit for the year 20-21 but at Barca, the sports project prevails and the economy continues.”

Ansu Fati leaves with Jorge Mendes and abandon Messi's brother

Ansu Fati in action against Bayerns Joshua Kimmich; photo credit – FC Barcelona

Barcelona are currently in a perilous financial situation but are working hard on renewing Fati’s contract which runs out in the summer.

Huge contracts for the likes of Messi and Antoine Griezmann among plenty of others has led to the club desperately attempting to cut costs due to losses in the pandemic.

Bartomeu says the club could have afforded the big contracts until the pandemic, and pointed to an article from Forbes naming Barcelona as the most valuable club in the world as proof.

“Until March 2020 we could afford the amounts that had been agreed,” he continued.

“They are very high contracts, it is important because we are the most valuable club in the world. A few months ago, Forbes said it that way for the first time in 122 years of history. It is news of satisfaction.

“That in 2020, in the year of a pandemic, that we are number one in the world, contrasts with the mismanagement message since external organizations, such as LaLiga or Forbes, say so.

“The club has also been declared the best football club of the last decade. This allows you to have a solid base to continue progressing.

 

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