Reports that Manchester United have bid twice, or even once, for Barcelona’s 17-year-old sensation Ansu Fati are wide of the mark and the club feels it is being used, according to new information from Mundo Deportivo and Sport Witness.
The normally reliable Sunday Times ran with a story this week that sounded so incredible you wondered why anyone would print it without knowing something.
‘Last week, two proposals were presented to Barcelona on behalf of Manchester United,’ claimed reporter Duncan Castles.
‘The first, conditional on the success of Project Restart, offered a transfer fee of €100 million (about £90 million). The second added €50 million of performance-related variables.
‘Barça rejected both, referring an intermediary to the teenager’s €170 million release clause.’
Given that United are struggling to raise £100 million for top target Jadon Sancho, the news did seem a little unlikely, but this is The Times. We don’t take their transfer stories with a pinch of salt.
‘Fast, direct and more goal-orientated than Jadon Sancho, a player Manchester United have been trying to extract from Dortmund to fill their long-problematic right-wing berth, the right-footed Fati has played everywhere across the attack,’ explains Castles.
‘Although the transfer-fee cost would be similar to Sancho’s, his salary would come far cheaper. Fati’s Camp Nou wages presently amount to €500,000 — a year.’
It is almost starting to sound plausible by this stage, but there is one problem: both Barcelona and United, not to mention the player’s entourage, have all, according to Mundo Deportivo, dismissed the report as nonsense.
The outlet claims that ‘Sources from his entourage have explained … that neither the English club nor Barça itself have addressed the young striker.
‘The striker does not consider leaving; He has already ignored all offers to stay and wants to stay at the club.
‘Barça has no record [of any bid] but would not even consider it.
‘Sources from his environment have explained … that the proposal has not reached the family, not even to probe him.
Meanwhile Sport Witness claims that ‘In addition to this, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side feel they are being “used”, most likely by Fati’s camp, to get a better deal from Barcelona and also assurances over regular playing time.’
It would seem, then, that the Sunday Times was suckered by Fati’s agents into using United’s name to put pressure on the Catalan club to take him more seriously. It is just surprising that this gift horse of a story wasn’t looked in the mouth just for the briefest of seconds.
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