Barcelona will ‘not sit down’ with Arsenal over £90m-rated star if they refuse swap request

Joe Williams
Arsenal target Ansu Fati runs

Barcelona are refusing to negotiate with Arsenal over their interest in Ansu Fati unless they agree to include Martin Odegaard in a deal, according to reports.

The Spain international has scored four goals and provided three assists for his team-mates in 32 La Liga matches this season – but 21 of those appearances have come from the bench.

Fati has been linked with a move to the Premier League for a few seasons but his potential departure could become a reality this summer with Barcelona looking to balance the books.

That doesn’t mean Barcelona don’t value him highly, with some reports claiming the Catalan giants will aim to get £90m for the 20-year-old if they decide to sell.

Arsenal have put themselves in a great position to improve their squad this summer – despite their hopes of winning the Premier League title all but over – with Mikel Arteta’s side qualifying for next season’s Champions League.

Previous reports have claimed that Arteta ‘dreams of signing’ Fati in the summer transfer window with the Spaniard an admirer of his talents.

And Spanish publication Nacional claims Arsenal are now ‘thinking about possible reinforcements’ and ‘asks to negotiate with Joan Laporta and the Barca board’ over a deal for Fati.

The report adds that Fati ‘wants to stay at the Camp Nou’ but that isn’t worrying Arsenal who ‘wants to try to negotiate with Laporta to see if he can take him to London’.

But Barcelona ‘wants to include Martin Odegaard in the operation’ and ‘will not sit down’ to negotiate the sale of Fati unless the Gunners agree to their demands.

Nacional continues by saying that Arsenal ‘cannot afford to lose their big stars, let alone their captain’ and Barcelona president Laporta ‘does not want to let Ansu Fati escape at any price’ unless Odegaard is included in a transfer.

Speaking earlier this year, transfer expert Fabrizio Romano claimed that a summer transfer could happen for Fati because of Barcelona’s financial position.

“Barcelona insist they want to trust Ansu Fati for present and future,” Romano wrote in his Caught Offside column in February.

“But it’s one of the situations to watch in the summer because they also have to make money and improve the salaries situation. I think a loan makes no sense, the best solution would be a permanent deal but it’s really early to predict how or where.”

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