We have tried to simply ignore reports linking Barcelona youngster Ansu Fati to Manchester United, since they were first claimed by Spanish newspaper SPORT a week ago.
Let us make a prediction: Manchester United are not signing Ansu Fati this summer.
But over the weekend The Times jumped in on the rumours, claiming United first had a £90 million offer rejected, before then seeing an offer totalling £135 million with add-ons turned down too.
Firstly, if this were true, Barcelona would be mad to reject it, considering this financial climate, and their own recent over-payments for flops Philippe Coutinho and Ousmane Dembele.
Fati is a bright prospect. At 17, he has four La Liga goals so far from 16 appearances, seven of which were starts, plus a goal in the Champions League.
But really, he is not a priority for United, and these links appear to be being pushed by agent Jorge Mendes, who is said to have presented ‘United’s offer’.
Mendes has a long history of clients linked with United, and the club’s name is usually used to secure better contracts for his players.
Jadon Sancho is Manchester United’s top transfer target. He is far further along in his development, at 20-years-old, and has 20 goals and 18 assists this season.
This is the type of player United should be ready to spend a club record fee on. Not Fati.
Yet The Telegraph report United are hesitating over paying a £100 million fee for Sancho, because of the big fee and the current financial climate.
Really? The same club who supposedly offered £135 million for Ansu Fati?
Except of course the Fati ‘bid’ appears to us, to be pure invention, and United’s reported concerns over paying the Sancho fee demonstrate this.
United are waiting to see how this financial climate settles down, and whether the club can secure Champions League football or not. If we can, then everything becomes easier.
This is no time to be throwing money at Barcelona for Fati, especially when the transfer chase for Sancho has not been fully explored yet.
Sancho still likely
The Evening Standard report that while Sancho will cost United a club record fee, the club are still confident a deal can be done.
United rarely pay a club’s full asking price without lengthy negotiations beforehand, and the Sancho deal will drag and drag.
Yet he is in so many ways perfect for United. He plays in a position of need, and requires a new challenge. We can give it to him.
He is United’s top target for a reason, and our transfer business will revolve around him.
Dortmund’s season ends in just over a fortnight, and the chase may begin to pick up then.
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