Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Man Utd shoved back to square one in winger pursuit after double Barcelona intervention

Raphinha, Ansu Fati Barcelona

Man Utd have seen their hopes of signing a Barcelona winger decrease after a meeting was held on Monday to impact the player’s future, it has been revealed.

After recently knocking Barcelona out of the Europa League, Man Utd have been spying the chance to deliver further misery to the La Liga outfit. Links with midfielder Frenkie de Jong have never really gone away, while wingers Ousmane Dembele, Raphinha and Ansu Fati have also apparently been on Erik ten Hag’s radar.

In terms of Fati, a report last week indicated that his price tag had fallen by more than half. After previously asking about the player in 2020 and being quoted €100m, Man Utd would now be more optimistic with a bid of just €35m (£30.7m).

However, any confidence Man Utd may have been generating about signing Fati has quickly been reduced.

According to a report from Cadena Ser, Barcelona officials Mateu Alemany (director of football) and Jordi Cruyff (sporting advisor) held a meeting with Fati’s father on Monday.

Within the talks, it was emphasised that Barcelona are not actually considering the sale of Fati. Instead, they still view him as an important squad member for next season and beyond.

The Spain international is under contract at Camp Nou until 2027, with the option of a further two years. Now, he has been reassured that he still has a role to play in that time.

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It will be an interesting development for Jorge Mendes to take in, since the agent was suggesting to the likes of Man Utd that Fati might be available in the summer.

Having come through the Barcelona youth ranks, Fati could have earned his first taste of Premier League football if Man Utd had been able to buy him.

Man Utd may have to shift focus away from Ansu Fati

Like with their admiration of De Jong, it might transpire that Man Utd retain their interest regardless. However, equally, their chances of signing Fati in the summer seem to be slimming.

Still only 20 years old, Fati has played 96 times for Barcelona during his career to date. Along the way, he has scored 25 goals, including six from 38 games this season.

And although he hasn’t been a starter as often as he would have liked, Barcelona’s number 10 still has some importance in Catalonia.

Man Utd will have to keep planning with the likes of Antony, Alejandro Garnacho and Marcus Rashford as their main wingers in the meantime.

Indeed, their main focus in the final third should be to add an elite centre-forward, rather than a winger like Fati, at this moment in time.

Doing so could take their attack to the next level by offering them a new dimension. Hence, their money might be better spent on a target man to take over from loanee Wout Weghorst.

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