Barcelona are disputing the length of the contract of their teenage star Ansu Fati with the player’s agent Jorge Mendes and father Bori Fati.
According to details published in El Mundo Deportivo, the club believes the 18-year-old is under contract until 2024 as they have the option to unilaterally extend the terms of his deal – in place until 2022 – by a further two seasons.
However, this claim is disputed by both Mendes and the player’s father, who say that this is not applicable as the deal was signed when the player was a youth-team player.
That means that there is a difference in interpretation of Paragraph 18 of the FIFA regulations. Point 2 of that paragraph specifies that “the maximum duration of a contract will be five years…players under 18 years of age (as was the case with Ansu when it was signed) cannot sign a contract of professionals of a duration greater than three years. Any clause of a longer period is not accepted.”
Therefore, the Blaugrana believe their two-year extension option is still valid but that is disputed as it would not be within FIFA regulations to offer such an extension.
There is little doubt the player would be keen to renew at the club, but this distinction is important in the negotiating position of the agent and would weaken the Catalan club’s bargaining point.
Fati is now one of the established attacking players at the club along with Lionel Messi and is aiming to establish himself ahead of the likes of Antoine Griezmann, Ousmane Dembele and Francisco Trincao.
The teenage prodigy has also starred for Spain in recent times – netting one goal in four international appearances having earned his first cap in September, while he has netted five goals in 10 games for his club this campaign.
However, the teenager is out injured until March after the club confirmed he had undergone knee surgery earlier this month.