Barcelona forward Ansu Fati was offered ‘more than double’ the salary he will earn from his new contract at Camp Nou by top European clubs including Manchester United and Liverpool.
Fati was due to be out of contract at the end of this season, leading to the possibility that he could have left Barça as a free agent. But the 18-year-old prodigy this week agreed to a new long-term deal until 2027 with a monstrous €1bn buyout clause.
Fati was only 16 when he made his Barça debut and has stepped into Lionel Messi’s enormous shoes at Camp Nou after inheriting the iconic number 10 shirt vacated by the six-time Ballon d’Or winner.
The youngster made clear when he spoke to the media about his new contract on Thursday that staying at the club was always his first intention. Reports in Spain, via SPORT, have since suggested that he turned down massively lucrative opportunities elsewhere to do it.
Fati himself alluded to offers from other clubs and it is now said there were proposals from Premier League duo Manchester United and Liverpool, as well as Paris Saint-Germain, which could have seen him reunite with Messi in France.
The claim from Spain is that ‘various intermediaries’ representing the interested clubs approached Fati’s representatives to gauge any willingness to leave Barça. But even with the offer of earning ‘more than double’ what he now will at Camp Nou over the coming years, he wanted to stay.
“Like I’ve said to Jorge [Mendes], from day one, my first option was to stay at Barça,” Fati said.
“They understood that perfectly and with the president we were able to reach an agreement. I’m very happy that the club has the confidence in me. It could be that I had offers from outside, but I wanted to be really clear and my dream was to stay here and be a success here.”