Ansu Fati Signs New Barcelona Contract Until 2022 With €170m Release Clause

?Barcelona have announced that Ansu Fati has put pen to paper on fresh terms at Camp Nou, extending his current deal until the summer of 2022 – with a further option of two other years.

On top of that, the club confirmed that a bumper new release clause has been set at €170m, a €70m increase on his previous such clause.

The youngster has enjoyed a meterioc rise this season since breaking into Barça’s first team, netting twice in La Liga despite only just turning 17 in late October.

Since making his debut, Fati became the youngest ?Barça player to ever score a league goal when he was just 16 years and 304 days old, while he also smashed club records in becoming the youngest player to start a match at Camp Nou or make a Champions League appearance.

As revealed on the club’s ?official website, Fati expressed his joy at extending his future in Spain beyond his previous contract.

“For me, La Masia is the best school in the world,” he said. “They helped me from the first day I arrived and I am extremely grateful to everyone who works there.

“They are all spectacular. From the first day I have learned things from everyone. And they have also been there to support me through difficult times.

Anssumane Fati

“Working every day with the best is a dream, and also a reward. From now onwards, what I have to do is keep working, even harder than ever, to keep getting chances and carry on enjoying myself. The rest will come after.”

Born in Guinea-Bissau, Fati represents Spain internationally after moving to Seville aged just six, where he played for Sevilla youth sides before Barcelona snapped the talented youngster up and he joined the club’s famed La Masia academy. 

To date, he has turned out for the club 11 times across all competitions, netting twice and registering one assist.


Ivan Rakitic Open to Sevilla or Atlético Madrid Move in January Amid Game Time Concerns

?Barcelona outcast Ivan Rakitic claims he hopes to return to former club Sevilla in the future, but his current wishes are to stay at Barcelona, despite a significant lack of game time.

The midfielder has been linked with a move to Atlético Madrid in January, after receiving just two starts in La Liga since the arrival of Frankie de Jong in the Summer.

Ernesto Valverde

However, the 31-year-old has made it clear that he will fight for his place in Ernesto Valverde’s squad, claiming that there is no ‘better place’ than ?Barcelona.

“You never know, my idea is to continue,” he said at the DEX Awards, as quoted by Spanish newspaper ?AS. “What I want is to play and enjoy my football. I still have a lot to give and if I can play, for me there is no better place than Barcelona right now.”

When asked about a possible move to the Spanish capital he admitted: “These are things that only time will tell. ?Atlético are a great club, who have showed everyone they fight for titles. I want to fight for everything and to help my teammates, but if that can be at Barcelona then there is no better place.”

However, the Croatian international was more open about his return to Sevilla, stating that he would love to rejoin his former club when the timing is right.


“We’ll see, if the time comes to be able to speak to them then everybody knows that I would be delighted.

“If I ever was to return to a club then it would be Sevilla, hopefully this can happen one day but above all, I’m glad to see how the club is growing, their results. Sevilla are better every year.

“From afar, that fills me with pride and happiness. My dream would be to wear the Sevilla shirt once again.”

Since losing his place in the first team, ?Rakitic has also sparked interest from clubs such as Manchester United and Inter Milan.


Gerard Pique Hits Back at Claims That Davis Cup Involvement Is Affecting His Barcelona Form

?Barcelona defender Gerard Pique has hit back at accusations that his involvement with tennis’ Davis Cup has forced his attention away from football.

The 32-year-old’s investment company has committed to revamping the event over the next 25 years, and critics have suggested that the Spaniard’s involvement with it have caused him to become distracted, leading to a bed spell of form for the centre-back over recent matches.


However, at the Catalan Football Federation awards gala, ?Pique defended himself as he picked up the award for best player of the year, claiming that his priorities still lie firmly with football.

“I didn’t think I could make it, I thought I wouldn’t arrive, so sorry for how I’m dressed. The truth is that Riqui Puig has outdone me today.” he said during the ceremony, as quoted by Spanish newspaper ?Sport. “I’m proud of getting the award and I thank the team-mates, the club, without them I would not be what I am and I hope that it’s a successful year.

“My priority is football, football, football. Are the directors of the newspapers here? Because lately the truth is that they love me a lot. It seems I can be distracted by the Davis Cup but this prize is for all the work from last year and this year will be the same.

“Things can go better or worse, but I think that I have shown that the love for the shirt is sacred and will be until the day I retire. If we win lots of titles, I’m sure that those who write will stop saying we’re distracted.”

Club Atletico de Madrid v FC Barcelona  - La Liga

Pique remains a crucial part of Ernesto Valverde’s plans in the first team, despite being in the latter stages of his career, starting 13 out of a possible 14 La Liga games this season.

However, during ?Barcelona’s 1-0 win over ?Atletico Madrid at the weekend, the Spaniard was replaced by Samuel Umtiti in the late stages of the game, as ?Lionel Messi went on to score the winning goal for La Blaugrana.


Juventus Claim They Don’t Want Ivan Rakitic as Barcelona Midfielder Hints at Exit

?Juventus chief Fabio Paratici has claimed that his side are not interested in Barcelona’s Ivan Rakitic, with the midfielder also revealing that he may look for a move away from the club.

The Croatian has been with Barça for five and half years, but has fallen out of favour as he struggles to get into a competitive midfield including Frenkie De Jong among.

Ivan Rakitic

The 31-year-old has been a divisive figure among fans of the La Liga champions, but ?Juve‘s Paratici has now revealed that they won’t be one of the sides who fights it out for his signature.

Via ?ESPN, he said: “We have a great team and are not looking for reinforcement right now. We are strong in every position. ?Rakitic is a great player but we are not interested.”

These quotes came just days before Rakitic himself said he may be interested in a move away from the club as he goes in search of regular game time.

Ivan Rakitic

“I do not understand the situation because I want to play. If I can play, there is no better place than Barça,” he said as quoted by ?Marca. “I want to enjoy every day and if it can be here, much better.

“I said that the ball had been taken from me to imply how much I like football. What I want to do is enjoy, doing my best because I still have a lot to give.

“I have the confidence of my teammates and if the coach puts me in, I understand that it will also be like that.”


How Every Country Voted in the 2019 Ballon d’Or – Including Some Bizarre Choices

?Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi won a record sixth Ballon d’Or on Monday evening, scooping the prestigious individual prize ahead of Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk, long time rival Cristiano Ronaldo, and Liverpool forwards Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah.

The award is presented by France Football, but decided by the votes of a designated journalist from each country around the world. And when the dust of the winner’s announcement has settled, one of the things people always look to is how the voting shaped up.


So, who voted for who? Where was the Ballon d’Or won and lost? Because this year was incredibly close, with Messi accumulating 686 points and Van Dijk finishing on 679.

Each naming a top five from the 30 nominees, the representative journalist from most countries went with either Messi or Van Dijk as their top choice. A few went with Ronaldo as number one, while Mane and Salah also got top spots from a selection of nations, including their own.

Messi was number one for Argentina’s Enrique Wolff of ESPN, while Van Dijk got the Dutch vote from Voetbal International’s Frans van den Nieuwenhof. There was no geographical rivalry bias from Brazil’s Cleber Machado, who voted for Messi as his number one.

Germany’s Karl-Heinz Wild from Kicker actually opted for Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski, presumably having been wowed by the Pole’s goalscoring feats. Mane was second in his list, with Messi fifth and no Ronaldo or Salah at all.

England’s Henry Winter went for a top three of Van Dijk, Messi and Ronaldo, giving Raheem Sterling a nod in fourth and picking Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson Becker in fifth.

Alisson was actually number one choice for the journalists in Ivory Coast and Guatemala.

Alisson Becker

Manchester City’s Bernardo Silva, Kevin De Bruyne and Riyad Mahrez all featured in a few top fives. Eden Hazard also got a few votes, placing as a high as second in Kazakhstan’s list.

Roberto Firmino featured in top fives here and there, so did Antoine Griezmann, Dusan Tadic and Son Heung-min – Son was only fifth in the vote from South Korea’s Wee Won-seok.

Frenkie de Jong was a second choice from Italy’s Paolo Condo of Sky Italia and Gazzetta dello Sport, as well as featuring in the top fives submitted by Iran, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Cyprus, Turkmenistan and others. Kylian Mbappe was also a relatively frequent top five vote, but he was top choice for Kyrgyzstan and Slovenia, and second for Mozambique, Eritrea and Chad.

There is usually at least one country whose vote is considered rather bizarre. In 2019, that is Sri Lanka for whom votes were cast by Hafiz Marikar of Daily News. Liverpool full-back Trent Alexander-Arnold was their top pick, followed by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – who wasn’t even voted for by his own country – Griezmann, Lewandowski and Marc-Andre ter Stegen. Is there a chance Mr Marikar picked alphabetically?

Trent Alexander-Arnold

That wasn’t the only vote for Alexander-Arnold, though, with Cameroon’s Gustave Samnick and Singapore’s Tan Kim Han putting him fifth in their respective votes.

For more from Jamie Spencer, follow him on Twitter and Facebook!