Ansu Fati is willing to leave Barcelona before the transfer window closes this week with Brighton working on an ambitious loan deal for the Spain forward, sources have confirmed to ESPN.
Tottenham have held talks with Barca as well, but they are also pursuing the signing of Nottingham Forest’s Brennan Johnson.
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Fati, 20, is open to a season-long loan move to the Premier League, maintaining his link with Barça, but nothing has been finalised yet ahead of Friday’s transfer deadline.
It marks a dramatic turnaround from Fati, who has previously been reluctant to leave the Catalan club this summer despite pressure from elsewhere.
Barça, his agent, Jorge Mendes, and his father, Bori, have all been pushing for him to spend a year elsewhere in order to play regular football.
Spurs and Chelsea had both been linked with Fati this week, but Brighton, coached by Roberto De Zerbi, emerged as the front-runners to conclude a deal on Wednesday.
Fati has featured off the bench in Barça’s first three games of the season but has struggled to earn a regular place in Xavi Hernandez’s side since recovering from several long-term injuries ahead of the 2022-23 season.
After bursting onto the scene as a 16-year-old in 2019, he missed almost two years of football between 2020 and 2022 due to various knee and hamstring problems.
He remained fit last season, making 51 appearances, the majority off the bench, and scoring 10 goals, but he was frustrated by a lack of starts.
That led to his father, Bori, calling for him to quit the club earlier this year and saying he was annoyed by the way Barça were treating Fati, who inherited the No.10 shirt from Lionel Messi.
Fati has a contract with Barça until 2027 and a €1 billion release clause.
His possible departure, coupled with Clément Lenglet’s loan move to Aston Villa, which sources tell ESPN will be closed on Thursday, could enable Barça to sign two more Mendes clients.
Barça are waiting to clear enough space within their LaLiga-imposed spending limit to bring in Manchester City right-back João Cancelo, while sources confirm they also remain keen on Atletico Madrid forward João Félix.
Speaking earlier this summer, Felix said he would like to join Barça, who will move for a forward before Friday should Fati leave after also losing Ousmane Dembélé to Paris Saint-Germain earlier this month.