Barcelona seek to avert possible Ansu crisis

Robin Bairner
Will Barcelona sign a replacement for Ansu Fati in January?

Barcelona embarrassingly lost Ilaix Moriba to RB Leipzig during the transfer window and are now working to ensure they do not reach a similar crisis point with Ansu Fati.

Both Moriba and Fati have been long tipped for stardom at Camp Nou, with that sense underlined when Ansu was handed the No.10 jersey vacated by Lionel Messi.

There is, however, a very real fear, perhaps enhanced by events of this summer, that Ansu could join Ilaix in departing the club next summer.

Indeed, the hallmarks are similar, with a crisis brewing between the player’s agent, Jorge Mendes, and the club.

When does Ansu Fati’s contract expire?

Ansu’s deal with Barcelona expires in 2022, meaning that he will be eligible for free agency next summer. Barca, however, believe that they have a two-year option in the 18-year-old’s deal that they can take out.

Here’s where the kicker is, though: Mendes and his team believe that because Fati was a minor when he signed the deal, these two optional seasons are not valid. In order for Ansu to have played these seasons, he would have to have been legal age when the deal was signed, Mundo Deportivo reports.

Ansu’s talent means that he is a wanted player. Indeed, Manchester United offered €150 million for the attacker previously. It was rejected by Barcelona.

Nevertheless, the interest in the player is there and would be from other teams, even if United’s interest has diminished following the arrival of Jadon Sancho.

Barcelona, though, are set to be more proactive in this case than they were with Ilaix. They will attempt to resolve this contract situation swiftly and, hopefully, successfully.

Of course, their salary cap, which they have struggled to get under in order to register Memphis Depay, Eric Garcia and Sergio Aguero this season, will necessarily count against them.

Furthermore, another of their major rising stars, Pedri, is out of contract next summer, although there are no complications forecast in the re-signing of a player who has been remarkably busy since arriving from Las Palmas last summer.

Along with Ansu Fati and Pedri, Ousmane Dembele has also been linked with a new Barcelona deal.