Ansu Fati looks set to leave Barcelona before the transfer window closes in what would be a fairly dramatic turnaround.
The youngster had been keen to stay at the Camp Nou, while Xavi and president Joan Laporta have both also said this summer they wanted him to continue.
Yet it appears Fati is ready to move on after starting the first three games of the season on the bench for Barcelona.
Mundo Deportivo are reporting that Fati had a chat with Xavi yesterday on the phone which helped make his mind up to mind.
Xavi told the forward that he can’t guarantee him any more minutes right now. The coach’s argument is that with the system he plays, and the competition for places at Barcelona, there’s just no way of guaranteeing Fati a more prominent role.
Robert Lewandowski is clearly Xavi’s first choice in attack, while Raphinha, Lamine Yamal and an in-form Ferran Torres all appear to be ahead of Fati in the pecking order.
The forward now looks set to head away in a bid to play regular football and attempt to rediscover the form that made him such an exciting prospect at Barcelona.
But why Brighton? Tottenham appeared set to land Fati before the Seagulls made their move in what was a shock development. Relevo also reckon that Sevilla were “inches away” from convincing Fati before he ultimately decided on Brighton.
Reports reckon that manager Roberto De Zerbi is “in love with Fati” and has “seduced him with his attractive project.” The Italian wants to make Fati his “franchise player” and feels his arrival can help Brighton take a big step forward in quality.
Certainly Brighton have won plenty of plaudits for their attacking play and are punching above their weight. They finished sixth last season in the league and will play European football in the 2023-24 campaign.
The Seagulls have also been willing to place their trust in youngsters, with players such as Moises Caicedo, Alexis Mac Allister, Marc Cucurella, Yves Bissouma and Leandro Trossard alll earning big-money moves after impressing on the south coast.
Fati now looks set for a key role with Brighton, a major reason in his decision to leave Barcelona, and it will be fascinating to see how he fares in the Premier League with De Zerbi’s side.
As for Barcelona, they will surely be hoping Fati can get back to his best. There’s no purchase option in the deal, meaning he is due to return to the club at the end of the campaign.