Saudi Arabia have set their sights on Barcelona youngster Ansu Fati, according to reports, and are hoping to sign the Spaniard next summer.
Fati, 20, came second in the 2020 Golden Boy award, but injuries have plagued his career in recent years and he is currently on loan at Premier League side Brighton & Hove Albion.
The Spaniard mustered just 12 La Liga starts for Barcelona last season, with Xavi balancing an attacking roster that included Robert Lewandowski, Raphinha and Ferran Torres.
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As a result, Fati was loaned to Brighton this summer; he has scored two goals for the Seagulls since his move, but has not yet been able to displace Kaoru Mitoma for a starting berth under Roberto De Zerbi.
In addition, much of his game time for Brighton has come as a second striker or a centre forward due to the options available to De Zerbi.
Furthermore, the emergence of Lamine Yamal at Barcelona and Joao Felix’s impressive start to his Blaugrana loan move means that Fati’s future at Camp Nou looks somewhat bleak.
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Now, Spanish outlet SPORT have reported that Saudi Arabia are targeting a move for Fati in 2024 as they continue their pursuit of the brightest talents in Europe.
According to SPORT, the Saudi Pro League “fully intends” to sign the 20-year-old during the next summer transfer window, while some of Fati’s entourage are keen on the proposed move.
Saudi Pro League revolution
During the most recent summer window, many of the best players in European football made the move to the lucrative Saudi Pro League, including Neymar, Karim Benzema and N’Golo Kante.
Furthermore, Spanish youngster Gabri Veiga was another who moved to Saudi Arabia, joining Al-Ahli from Celta Vigo for €40 million.
He was courted by the likes of Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain and Napoli, but opted to join the Saudi Pro League instead.