FC Barcelona have a shortlist of five players, including Lionel Messi, that they would like to replace Ansu Fati with according to reports.
Former teenage prodigy Fati, who inherited Messi’s number ’10’ shirt when the Argentine left for Paris Saint Germain in the summer of 2021, suffered another miserable night on Sunday as Barca beat Athletic Club 1-0 in Bilbao.
Snubbed in favor of a front line containing Ferran Torres, Robert Lewandowski and goalscorer Raphinha, he was afforded a short cameo of around 15 minutes including stoppage time and unsurprisingly had little impact.
Fati was once thought of as the future of the Blaugrana, but it is looking increasingly likely that he will be offloaded in the summer so that Barca can balance Financial Fair Play and look to make anything between €40-100 million ($43-107 million) from his transfer.
According to El Nacional, Messi heads a shortlist of players that could replace the left winger and striker, with other options being studied including Yannick Ferreira-Carrasco, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, and Roberto Firmino.
One of Mendes’ biggest clients, however, Joao Felix, is said to be among president Joan Laporta’s most desired acquisitions. As things stand with Barca’s debts, though, his arrival is almost economically impossible to pull off.
Given his high wages, a coup for Messi won’t be much more straightforward. But it has been claimed that Laporta has made the player’s father and agent Jorge a “final offer” of €200,000 ($214,000) yearly plus the expected €100 million ($107 million) proceeds from his farewell match derived from gate receipts and television money.
Of these names to pursue, someone like Firmino – who akin to Messi will be free in June – is probably most realistic amid Barca’s financial woes.
Making matters easier, the Brazilian has already told Liverpool that he will end his eight-year tenure at Anfield when his contract runs out, and his representative has already reportedly offered the number ‘9’ to Laporta.