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Manchester United once had what was reported to be an extortionate bid turned down for Barcelona star Ansu Fati, but the Red Devils could take a second bite at the cherry this summer as Newcastle also keep tabs, with the youngster’s price tag supposedly slashed.
Fati was hailed as Barca’s next big thing when he broke through at the age of 16, finding his range in front of goal almost immediately. However, a series of devastating injuries have stunted his progress, and this season he has had to scrap for minutes under Xavi.
Several years ago, the thought of Fati starting just nine La Liga games, this far into a season, would have been unthinkable, but the likes of Raphinha, Gavi and Ferran Torres have made first-team action hard to come by.
Reports from Spain indicated that United lodged a monstrous £134million bid for Fati back in 2020. But such was the winger’s reputation at the time, Barca rejected it out of hand.
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With Fati now on the fringes at the Nou Camp and La Blaugrana facing a huge challenge to trim down their wage bill, Sport claim that agent Jorge Mendes is informing a number of Premier League sides that he could be available for the measly sum of £31m.
United and the Magpies are both rumoured to be in the equation, with the 20-year-old bagging three goals and three assists in 24 La Liga appearances so far this campaign. The Red Devils also got a brief opportunity to watch the youngster at close quarters during their two-legged Europa League clash earlier this term.
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Fati’s future appears to be up in the air, with a passionate outburst from his father on Catalan radio station COPE unlikely to have gone down well with Barcelona. “It bothers me how they are treating Ansu,” he stated this week. “They give him one, two, three minutes.
“I am very disappointed, he deserved much more. Why doesn’t Xavi play him more? I don’t have an answer. We’re talking about the No 10 of Barcelona. I’m angry, it’s true. As a father I see Ansu for a short time and it p****s me off but I think as a father, not as a coach.
“I have told Ansu it is better for him to have a change of scenery but he doesn’t agree, he wants to stay and succeed at Barcelona. I am not going to criticise Real Madrid because life takes many turns and you never know what can happen.”
Champions League qualification could be crucial for either United or Newcastle if they are to successfully swoop in for Fati this summer. With 12 games each still to play in the Premier League, Erik ten Hag’s side sit third in the table while the Magpies are in fifth.
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