Ansu Fati is working on an ambitious loan deal for the Brighton Spain forward who wants to leave Barcelona before the transfer window closes this week, sources have confirmed to ESPN.
Tottenham have also held talks with Barca, but they are also chasing Nottingham Forest’s Brennan Johnson.
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Fati, 20, is open to a season-long loan in the Premier League while maintaining his links to Barca, but nothing is yet to be finalized ahead of Friday’s transfer deadline.
It marks a dramatic shift from Fati, who was previously reluctant to leave the Catalan club this summer despite pressure from elsewhere.
Barca, his agent, Jorge Mendes, and his father, Bori, are all pushing for him to spend a year elsewhere in order to play regular football.
Spurs and Chelsea have both been linked with Fati this week, but Brighton, coached by Roberto Di Zarbi, emerged as the front-runners to complete a deal on Wednesday.
Fati was off the bench for Barca’s first three games of the season but has struggled for a regular place in Xavi Hernandez’s side since recovering from a number of long-term injuries ahead of the 2022-23 season.
After bursting onto the scene as a 16-year-old in 2019, he missed nearly two years of football between 2020 and 2022 due to various knee and hamstring problems.
He was fit last season, making 51 appearances, mostly off the bench, and scoring 10 goals, but was frustrated by a lack of starts.
This led to his father, Bori, urging him to leave the club earlier this year and saying he was upset with the way Barca were treating Fati, who inherited the No.10 jersey from Lionel Messi.
Fatih has a contract with Barca until 2027 and a €1 billion release clause.
His potential departure, followed by Clement Lenglet’s loan move to Aston Villa, which sources told ESPN will close on Thursday, could enable Barca to sign two more Mendes clients.
Barca are waiting to free up enough space within their La Liga-imposed spending limit to bring in Manchester City right-back Joao Cancelo, while sources have confirmed they are interested in Atletico Madrid forward Joao Felix.
Speaking earlier this summer, Felix said he would like to join Barcelona, who will move before Friday. Should Fati leave after losing Ousmane Dembele to Paris Saint-Germain earlier this month?