Manchester United have reportedly made a fresh approach for Barcelona’s talented forward Ansu Fati according to Sport. This week, United’s summer move for Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho seems to have stalled with the player heading to Switzerland with his club on a pre-season training camp after the 10 August deadline expired with the German club now suggesting that they plan to keep the 20-year-old for the 2020/21 season in some defiance on their Twitter account.
United have been linked with Fati, 17 already this summer but it seems that the Catalan club will be retaining the services of the player. This season, in 32 appearances, the teenager has scored eight goals and one assist and looks to be a player for the future, hence the interest from United who really need to sign a right-winger this summer. Fati predominantly plays on the left though, a position that could be occupied by Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial or even Daniel James. On the right, United have few options that actually work.
The Spanish source claim that Barcelona have made it clear that Fati will not be sold this summer, which is what has always been said but the Catalan outfit. Fati has a contract that will expire in the summer of 2022 but the club has an option to add a further two-years on that if they want to, giving them power over the future of the player. In December 2019, Fati signed his new contract which saw his release clause rise from £84 million to £144 million but that would rise further to £339 million when the player signs his professional contract when he turns 18 in October.
In United are counting the pennies this summer, which looks like the car because of the coronavirus pandemic, the mere fact they they will not pay €120 million for Sancho would suggest that they will not pay £144 million for Fati, should the player even want to leave Barcelona. In my opinion, this is just United testing to water to get a deal for Sancho done. This is the same tactic that other clubs have used in the past, even United. That said though, Sport suggest that Fati will be on lower wages and agent fees would not be as high as they would for Sancho.
It is clear that United want to sign players this summer but seem to be doing things in an amateurish fashion, which always seems to be the case with the club. The executive vice-chairman, Ed Woodward has been in charge of transfer for eight summer transfer windows now and there always seems to be drama which could be avoided with months of planning, talking to agents, clubs and when allowed, the players they want to sign. Imagine if this set of thing was concluded before the transfer window even opened, making the club look professional rather than a club that just wants to penny pinch so the owners end up getting a better windfall.
These rumours that eventually lead to nothing will keep coming until the transfer window closes on the 5 October in order to make it look like United have the intentions of doing business. However, that intention should be shown by actually making the signings that United needs rather than seeking out players who will be much cheaper and therefore not the player that was wanted in the first place. To accumulate, you need to speculate. If United signed a player like Sancho, they would make money in marketing and other avenues.
Whilst the club would not make money from shirt sales, with that covered in the £75 million sponsorship payment from adidas each year, with other sponsors and other avenues, United could make proportions of large transfer fees in those areas. Then, when the football is working fully on the pitch, things will sort themselves out. Greedy people seem to want to take more than they want to give which is why United are still in debt.
Written by John Walker