Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Former Barcelona supremo hints at £128m Man Utd bid for Nou Camp prodigy

Ousmane Dembele, Ansu Fati, Eric Garcia Barcelona v Getafe, August 2021

Former Barcelona chairman Josep Maria Bartomeu has claimed that the club turned down a £128million for teenage prodigy Ansu Fati from an unnamed English club in the summer of 2020, believed to be Manchester United.

The Catalan giants were in the midst of their financial crisis during the summer of 2020 as the Covid-19 pandemic hit them hard. There was the real possibility that they would sell off a number of top stars, something that eventually happened a year later when club legend Lionel Messi was allowed to leave.

However, Bartomeu insists that the club rejected a bid for Fati, as they had no interest in selling.

Fati has made a big name for himself across Europe ever since he burst onto the scene at the Nou Camp.

He made his debut at the age of just 16 – before he had even appeared in Barca’s second team – against Real Betis in 2019. Then just six days later he became the club’s youngest scorer ever and La Liga’s third-youngest scorer of all-time.

This made a number of Europe’s biggest hitters to stand up and take notice, with the player dubbed as the heir to Messi’s throne.

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And now Bartomeu has suggested the club turned down an estimated £128m (€150m) bid from a Premier League club for the Guinea-born attacker.

United have been credited with a strong interest in the past and, based on Bartomeu’s comments, they are almost certainly the club that tried to land Fati.

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“It was from an English club,” Bartomeu told to Mundo Deportivo.

“It would have been a direct benefit for exercise 20-21 but in Barça the sports project prevails and the economy is continuing. Until March 2020, we could afford the amounts that had been agreed.

“FC Barcelona is one of those locomotives that has made the club grow. I don’t want to forget Juve, Bayern, Manchester United, Chelsea, also PSG and City. These are state clubs which have allowed this activity to grow in an enormous way.”

Fati has played only three times under Ronald Koeman so far this season, scoring once. They could well mean more offers are on the way for the attacker in upcoming transfer windows.

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