The 17-year-old’s emergence has represented one of the few encouraging aspects of a turbulent season for the Catalan giants which culminated in last Friday’s Champions League drubbing at the hands of Bayern Munich.
Fati made 33 appearances last term, scoring eight goals in all competitions, and is already billed as the natural heir to Messi’s throne.
Despite establishing himself as regular member of the first team squad, the teenager’s future remains a matter of conjecture with Manchester United registering formal interest.
Fati’s release clause will rise to €170million when he turns 18 in October but that may not discourage United who are on the lookout for an alternative to Jadon Sancho with Borussia Dortmund refusing to cave on their valuation of the England international.
The Spain Under-21 forward had been represented by Messi’s brother Rodrigo, but, according to Marca, is ready to terminate that relationship and sign for Jorge Mendes instead.
Under-fire club president Josep Bartomeu admitted earlier this week that the bulk of the first team squad was up for sale but has reiterated his desire to ensure Fati remains and plays a key part in the rebuilding project set to be undertaken by Ronald Koeman.
‘We have received offers for Ansu Fati but we don’t want to sell him,’ he told Barca TV. We want him to grow here. He is not for sale.’
Koeman, meanwhile, was confirmed as Quique Setien’s successor on Wednesday and will seek urgent talks with Messi who is also said to be contemplating his next move and giving serious consideration to quitting the club at which he has spent his entire professional career.
‘He’s still got a contract and is still a Barcelona player,’ said Koeman. ‘At this point I need to speak to him because he is the captain.
‘We need to work with him and speak with various players. We need to make some decisions but in Messi’s case I hope he stays with us.
‘I don’t know if I have to convince Messi [to stay], whether it’s that or not. He is the best player in the world and the best player in the world you want in your team, you don’t want him playing against you.
‘As a coach I would love to work with Messi because he wins matches. If he’s at the ability and level he has always shown I’d be more than happy for him to stay.’