A different story could have been penned by Barcelona wonder-kid Ansu Fati had a said move to the English Premier League materialized, a new revelation has indicated. Apparently, the family of the 17-year-old sensation had agreed a deal with West Ham but the fact that the forward's Spanish passport was processed in time prevented the move to London from happening.
Before getting his Barcelona breakthrough which was followed by a three-year contract and a hefty £88.5 million release clause earlier this season, Fati's family put measures in place to ensure that he had regular playing time elsewhere with his first-team chances being in doubt. According Bleacher Report, the Guinea Bissau-born teenager had an offer from West Ham United and despite all indications pointing at him sealing a move to London, things go as expected.
The fact that Fati did not have his Spanish passport at the time meant that he did not have proper authorization to obtain the relevant paperwork to complete a switch. With the delay derailing his chances of moving away, the teenager finally had his chance at Camp Nou, scoring in back-to-back games for Barca while putting in dazzling performances to announce his arrival.
"West Ham knew about Ansu's situation and his family were keen to make the move to London, which can be a huge lure," a source told Bleacher Report.
"The deal was agreed quickly with West Ham and the family, the player was happy and he had not signed his deal with Barcelona, meaning they were helpless to stop him.
"We were told the passport was not an issue but they didn't have it and it just did not progress quickly, which allowed Barcelona the time to step in, and with the truncated transfer window in England, the pressure was on.
"It emerged that Ansu's Spanish passport would not come through until after August, and that stopped the deal in its tracks," the souce added.
"But it was that close – a piece of paperwork stopped West Ham from landing him. We fully expect Ansu to emerge as one of Europe's best talents, it is just a shame that he won't be showing off his talents at the London Stadium."