Man Utd, Liverpool and Arsenal suffer blow in their pursuit of 'the next Messi'
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Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal have all suffered a blow in their pursuits of Barcelona forward Ansu Fati, according to a new report.
All three clubs have been linked with a move for the 20-year-old in recent weeks, with Fabrizio Romano claiming that they, along with Bayern Munich, were tracking the player ahead of a potential summer move.
That came after a report from Spanish outlet Sport, which claimed that Fati was unhappy with his playing time this season. He has started just six La Liga games.
On United's interest specifically, Romano revealed that the club still has an 'excellent link' to Fati's agent, Jorge Mendes. The super-agent has been working with United since the days of Sir Alex Ferguson's management.
But Barcelona are desperate to keep Fati, who was once considered a potential successor to Lionel Messi at Camp Nou. He was given the Argentinian's number 10 shirt when the Barca legend joined PSG in 2021.
A host of injuries, including a serious knee injury suffered in 2020 that ruled him out for 10 months, have slowed Fati's rapid rise, but he is still involved with Xavi's first team.
Now, interested clubs have been dealt a fresh blow to their hopes of signing him.
Man Utd, Liverpool, Arsenal dealt Ansu Fati blow
That is despite the 20-year-old not being called upon from the bench against Villarreal on Sunday, marking the first time he has not featured in a Barcelona game this season.
But it is claimed that, with a contract that runs until 2027, Fati wants to focus on reclaiming his spot in the team and helping Barca fight for trophies.
Despite his injuries, Fati still has plenty of time to establish himself as one of world football's greats - and he will hope to kickstart a return to form against one of the clubs interested in signing him.