Arsenal ‘offered’ Ansu Fati as Mikel Arteta risks boardroom dispute

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta reviews the Nottingham Forest game

Arsenal have reportedly been offered the chance to sign Ansu Fati from Barcelona this summer. Mikel Arteta is thought to be keen on recruiting fresh back-up out wide, which could bring about tension in the boardroom as senior figures at the Emirates Stadium are seemingly unconvinced by the deal.

Becoming the second-youngest player in Barca history at the time, Fati made his debut for the Catalan giants back in 2019. He was hailed as the future of the club but also contributed significantly during his maiden senior campaign, with his eight-goal haul across all competitions still a career best.

A series of devastating injuries since 2020 have hampered Fati’s progress, and the 20-year-old has had to settle for just 11 La Liga starts this term. With Xavi’s side under pressure to trim their wage bill and balance the books, there is reportedly a feeling that the winger could be attainable this summer.

According to The Independent, intermediaries are already exploring whether a move to the Emirates Stadium would be possible for Fati.

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However, despite the player’s sparkling reputation, Arsenal are yet to confirm to his representatives that the interest is reciprocated. That much may surprise Arteta, who is believed to be keen on adding strength out wide to back up Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli.

Leandro Trossard has provided an extra option since signing from Brighton in January, and while Reiss Nelson is reportedly closing in on a new contract, nothing is confirmed as yet. Tension may crop up between Arteta and the Gunners’ hierarchy if they pass up on the opportunity to sign a player of Fati’s calibre.

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The Barca youth product has already scored two goals for Spain and racked up a significant amount of senior football for his age, with over 100 appearances for La Blaugrana despite his injury woes.

Arsenal’s Premier League title rivals, Manchester City, have also been linked with Fati in the past, but previous reports indicate that Pep Guardiola may have reservations over pinching one of Barcelona’s future stars. Despite breaking through with Barca’s reserve team, Arteta does not have the same loyalty to the club.

It remains to be seen whether other clubs enter the race for Fati, and if that lights a fire under Arsenal to act on their opportunity. The Gunners could have cash to burn in the forthcoming window with a number of first-team stars linked elsewhere.

Among those flirting with exits is Granit Xhaka, who is reportedly closing in on a move to Bayer Leverkusen. Thomas Partey, meanwhile, has admirers in Serie A, and a hefty fee could also be recouped for on-loan goal machine Folarin Balogun.

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