BARCELONA

Ansu Fati: Barcelona turn down €100m bid for La Masia star

According to reports, Josep Maria Bartomeu was informed of the offer from a "big European club" but made it clear the 17-year-old is not for sale.

FC Barcelona have rejected a €100m offer for La Masia star Ansu Fati, according to reports in Catalonia. The bid, from an unnamed European heavyweight club, landed on the desk of Josep Maria Bartomeu last Thursday but the Barça president apparently made it clear that the Spain under-21 international is not for sale due in large part to the improbability of Neymar returning to Camp Nou due to a lack of funds brought about in part by the coronavirus pandemic.

Barça see Ansu as the future of the club after the 17-year-old’s meteoric rise to first team status and stardom during the first half of the 2019-20 season and although the Camp Nou coffers are bare there is little appetite to cash in on the forward despite Barça’s need to raise funds this summer. Several players are on the market as far as the Camp Nou board are concerned, chief among them Ousmane Dembélé, who has endured an injury plagued career at the club and heads a list of potential departures that includes Samuel Umtiti, Ivan Rakitic, Carles Aleñá, Nelson Semedo, Junior Firpo and Arturo Vidal.

Dembélé's Barcelona future up in the air

Dembélé is likely to be moved on in favour of promoting Ansu further as the immediate back-up to the starting front three of Leo Messi, Luis Suárez and Antoine Griezmann after the France international’s injury issues and off-field misdemeanours have undermined his bid for a regular starting berth.

Ansu, meanwhile, is seen as untouchable by the Barça board who are eager to nurture a home-grown talent as part of a squad that is a little threadbare on La Masia talent after years of the club’s academy providing the first team with ready made players and in view of the club’s economic straits.