Manchester United saw a gigantic offer that topped €150m rejected by Barcelona last summer for Ansu Fati, a report has claimed.
Fati is one of the brightest stars to have emerged from the Barcelona academy in recent years. He is yet to reach adulthood, but already played a big part at Camp Nou last season.
Fati’s progress has stalled this season after he sustained a serious knee injury. That will have come as a major blow with Ronald Koeman having previously promoted the winger to the first team. As part of the arrangement, he triggered a new deal that saw his release clause shoot up to €400m.
Indeed, there were numerous claims last summer that United wanted to lure Fati to Old Trafford prior to his signing of that contract.
According to Mundo Deportivo at the time, Barca had no interest in selling Fati despite the ‘dizzying’ offer.
Now Mundo Deportivo have revealed United’s bid was worth €150m for Fati with ‘then president Josep Maria Bartomeu flatly refused to sell’.
The offer from Man Utd suggests his emergence last season ‘did not go unnoticed among the greats of football’ and Bartomeu realised his ‘great promise’.
They state the initial offer was made up of a downpayment of €100m, with a further €50m in bonuses.
Scholes hails ‘real talent’ Amad Diallo
United’s interest in Fati no longer may stand with the club having shelled out £37m to land Amad Diallo from Atalanta.
The teenage winger was handed his debut on Thursday evening as Real Sociedad were brushed aside 4-0 in the Europa League.
While he did not get on the scoresheet, he did feature for seven minutes – much to Paul Scholes’ delight.
“We didn’t see much of him tonight,” he said.
“He looks a talented player. I watched the U23s last week. He scored a goal and made a couple of goals.
“He’s got real talent, a nice left foot. Is he quick? I’m not too sure I haven’t seen that yet.
“Creative player, very young at 18. Give him time and hopefully he can do.”
Diallo’s debut also provoked a reaction from Solskjaer, who admitted the youngster has already caught the eye.
“He’s getting closer and closer to his minutes by the day,” Solskjaer said. “That is why we felt towards the end when we were 3-0 up to go and let him enjoy his first 10 minutes for the club.”