Manchester City reportedly ‘failed’ in an attempt to sign Barcelona forward Ansu Fati as panic set in when it became clear Cristiano Ronaldo would be joining city rivals United.
City were rumoured to be on the brink of signing Ronaldo before some United legends stepped in and persuaded him to return ‘home’.
And that sparked desperation at City, according to Mundo Deportivo, who claim Pep Guardiola himself contacted Jorge Mendes, the agent of Fati, to enquire over the possibility of signing the teenager.
Mendes was already in Manchester meeting with United to iron out the terms of Ronaldo’s deal.
Now, this claim seems unlikely for a number of reasons.
Firstly, Guardiola directly calling any agent, let alone Mendes – a man he’s reported to have very little time for – is incredibly dubious.
Secondly, separate reports state that the Man City boss specifically asked the board not to engage with the agent over Fati to avoid upsetting Barcelona.
And thirdly, why would City make a panic move for a player that would cost €100million and would be unlikely to start all that much given the ludicrous abundance of options Guardiola has that play in similar positions.
Mendes is also said to have dicussed the possibility of Fati moving to United in those talks over Ronaldo’s sensational return to Old Trafford – they were reportedly interested in the 18-year-old in the summer of 2020.
Those dicussions were described as ‘something normal’ and Barcelona had made it ‘very clear’ that Fati remains ‘non-transferable’ – he was never going to leave.
The Red Devils, like City, were nothing put a pawn in Mendes’ bid to land his client a new contract with the La Liga side.
And it appears Mendes’ angling has worked, with multiple reports claiming Fati is about to be handed a new bumper deal by the Spanish giants.
Just as Mendes used Man United, the Spanish media are using the rumours as evidence of Fati and Barcelona’s commitment to each other.
And a separate Mundo Deportivo report (via Sport Witness) claims the rejection of a €100m bid from United proves the devotion of both parties.
Guys, it didn’t happen…