Barcelona have informed Ansu Fati that he can leave the club this summer as one of a number of players whose departure could help finalise the return of Lionel Messi, 90min understands.
Messi is determined to head back to Camp Nou this summer, having left to join Paris Saint-Germain in 2021. His return is also seen as a priority for the club, but Barcelona are having to work tirelessly on constructing a deal that won’t fall foul of La Liga’s financial regulations.
Fati was once billed as the future of the club, even inheriting Messi’s iconic number 10 shirt at the age of 18. But injuries in recent seasons have hampered his progress and, even now back consistently fit, the 20-year-old has only been an occasional player in Xavi’s team – just 11 of his 31 La Liga appearances so far in 2022/23 have been as a starter.
However, a deal to try and move him on is not straightforward, nor is one close.
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90min can confirm that agent Jorge Mendes did try to engineer a recently rumoured swap deal with Premier League side Wolves involving midfielder Ruben Neves. But sources have confirmed that while Barcelona do admire Neves, he is far from a top priority this summer – the Catalans are more enamoured with Ilkay Gundogan, who would be available on a free transfer.
Wolves are keen on Fati, though, and he also has other interest from England in the shape of West Ham. The Spain international isn’t particularly keen on leaving Barcelona as it is. But even if he were, teams that are 13th and 15th respectively in the Premier League standings won’t cut it. Fati would want to join a bigger club that is challenging towards the top end of the table.
Manchester United, Arsenal or Chelsea have all been linked in the past, but none of them have any irons in the fire when it comes to a Fati deal at this moment in time.
On this edition of Talking Transfers, part of the 90min podcast network, Scott Saunders, Graeme Bailey & Toby Cudworth discuss the possibility of Neymar joining Newcastle, Jude Bellingham’s decision on his future, Lionel Messi leaving PSG & more!
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