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Ansu Fati heading to the Premier League

The Barcelona forward will travel to England to join Brighton in search of minutes after telling Xavi that he wants to leave

The Barcelona forward will travel to England to join Brighton in search of minutes after telling Xavi that he wants to leave

Ansu Fati will not play for Barcelona again this season and his No.10 shirt will go to another member of the first team squad. The Spanish striker held a meeting with Xavi Hernández when he told him that he would be leaving.

During that conversation with the coach, Ansu did not reveal the club he would be joining, but just a few hours later, his agent Jorge Mendes, indicated that the chosen team was going to be Roberto de Zerbi’s Brighton. In the absence of official confirmation, Ansu Fati will spend the rest of the season on loan at Brighton with the English club taking care of at least eighty percent of his salary.

The Blaugrana coach told those close to him, “I wish him the best of luck and that he gets to play a lot.” Xavi values Ansu, but he couldn’t guarantee the forward the amount of playing time that he demanded. De Zerbi however, has assured him that he will get regular minutes.

Brighton’s Italian coach has been one of the key pieces in this operation. He has spoken numerous times with the footballer to convince him that he is going to be the reference player for his project. Brighton is considered to be one of the most attractive teams in the Premier League and Pep Guardiola himself has praised them on numerous occasions.

The Seagulls will be competing in the Europa League this year, a circumstance that initially bothered Ansu, who would have preferred to go to a team involved in the Champions League. However, Brighton have acquired spending power through two summer sales - world champion Alexis Mac Allister who joined Liverpool for £35 million (approximately $44 million) and Ecuadorian Moisés Caicedo who became the most expensive transfer in Premier League history, after completing a £115 million ($146 million) move to Chelsea. That, together with the team’s excellent start to the new campaign (two wins and one defeat leaves them sixth) made a more than convincing argument.

No to Wolves

Chelsea and Tottenham were the strongest contenders to take Ansu in the last few hours after the Barça forward had rejected the first English proposal made to him by Wolverhampton, a club where Mendes has a lot of contacts and influence. At the last minute, Sevilla, who are also in the Champions League, attempted to secure a loan though the player’s father, Bori Fati, but the Andalusian club’s financial situation and proposal was not enough to convince Barcelona.

One of the keys to the operation is that with Ansu’s departure, a new forward is expected to arrive at Camp Nou - the name on everyone’s lips is Joāo Félix...

Xavi has always said that he admires Joāo, but added that the player could only arrive if someone from the forward line left. That seems already assured, what is missing is now that the numbers add up in LaLiga’s Financial Fair Play rules.

At Barcelona, they do not want to take the Atlético Madrid forward’s arrival for granted because, according to the coach’s instructions, the order of priorities is to first register players (Iñaki Peña and Iñigo Martínez are missing and consolidate the position of Gavi) and bring in Joāo Cancelo. After that, the club will look at Joāo Félix, but the most complicated part, which was the departure of Ansu, who always resisted leaving, is about to be made official.