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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - Barcelona have insisted they have no intention of entertaining any offers for teenage forward Ansu Fati amid reported interest from Premier League giants Manchester United.
Reports emerged this week claiming United had made a €100 million (Dh413m) bid for 17-year-old Fati, which Barca apparently rejected. Seemingly undeterred, United are reportedly prepared to increase the bid and are keen to strike a deal before Barcelona offer Fati a new contract that will see his buyout clause more than double from €170m to €400m.
However, speaking to Spanish outlet Sport, Barcelona director Xavier Vilajoana said the club will not listen to offers for Fati.
"For us, there's no story with Ansu, we have never spoken about selling him," he said. "We won't use players from the academy to make cash. In principle, we have no intention of selling the players we believe will make the first team."
Fati broke into Barca's senior setup this season, making 16 La Liga appearances – including seven starts – and scoring four goals.
When asked if Barca had plans to offer Fati a new contract, as claimed in the media, Vilajoana refused to give too many details.
"I think he's happy," he said. "He will be an important player in the coming years."
Another of Barca's academy players, Riqui Puig, is also considered part of the club's future. The 20-year-old midfielder made his first team debut in December 2018 in a Copa del Rey win over Cultural Leonesa and has since made another five senior appearances.
While still plying his trade for Barcelona B, Vilajoana expects Puig to make the step up if he continues to work hard.
"He is a special player but like all special players, he has to improve where he's not so special," Vilajoana said. "He has a lot of qualities, but there are also things to improve, and I am convinced the first team manager [Quique Setien] knows that. We will end up with a great player."
Barcelona resume their La Liga title defence on Saturday night against Real Mallorca. The Catalans lead the table and hold a two-point advantage over rivals Real Madrid with 11 games of the season remaining.
Updated: June 13, 2020 03:25 PM
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