• Barcelona stressed that Ansu Fati is not for sale
  • Barcelona reveals Real Madrid also tried to make a run for Fati
  • Barcelona turned down Manchester United's $169 million offer for Fati

Barcelona has made it clear that 17-year-old wonder kid Ansu Fati is not up for sale. The Catalans reportedly have just thrashed Manchester United’s vigorous pursuit of the rising star; but even before it was news, a source at Camp Nou revealed that their rivals in Real Madrid had also tried to pitch for the Guinea-Bissau-born footballer.

"There has been (an) interest in Ansu for a while from many clubs," the source told ESPN. "Even Real Madrid were monitoring him before he renewed his contract.”

Barca is not surprised by the overwhelming interest in Fati, who has been a force to reckon with at Camp Nou this season.

"It is not news to us that clubs are asking about him, but Barca will not sell. Ansu is the future of the club and if he was sold, (Josep Maria) Bartomeu may even have to go into hiding,” the source added.

In fact, the prized prodigy just connived with Lionel Messi in spearheading the Catalans to a 2-0 victory over Leganes on Tuesday.

With two minutes to go before halftime, Ansu hit a low shot that went in between the legs of a Leganes defender to give Barcelona the advantage. His mentor, Messi, then sealed the game by scoring on a penalty after he was brought down in the box by defenders who tried to deny him of the ball.

The win gave the Blaugrana their sixth in a row to stretch their lead over Real Madrid to five points at the top of the La Liga standings.

Fati is expected to stay at Camp Nou until the end of the 2022 season after he signed the said extension deal in December, which includes a release clause worth $191 million but also has the option to allow Barca to extend his stay further to two more years.

But despite Barcelona’s determination to keep Fati, clubs like Man United still tried to take advantage of the La Liga giant’s financial situation to make a run for the generational talent.

The Red Devils reportedly elevated their initial offer to $169 million, but it was turned down by Barca for the second time.

“For us, there’s no story with Ansu, we have never spoken about selling him. We won’t use players from the academy to make cash. In principle, we have no intention of selling the players we believe will make the first team,” Barcelona director Xavier Vilajoana told Sport’s German Bona.

Fati has been turning heads since he made his professional debut in August. He has scored a total of five goals in 17 La Liga appearances for Barcelona this season.

A product of the La Masia academy, it goes without saying that Fati is being groomed to become the next face of Barca for the years to come.

Ansu Fati became the youngest player to score in the Champions League when he netted Barcelona's winner away to Inter
Ansu Fati became the youngest player to score in the Champions League when he netted Barcelona's winner away to Inter AFP / Isabella BONOTTO