Any lingering hopes Manuel Pellegrini and Mario Husillos had of luring Barcelona prodigy Ansu Fati to West Ham United look well and truly dead.
Less than two months ago a report from Spain revealed how the European giants had to thwart West Ham in their attempts to sign their teenage sensation Fati.
The 17-year-old burst onto the scene at the Camp Nou this season – as a then 16-year-old – two goals and providing a number of assists in nine appearances for Barca.
Hammers made audacious bid for Barca prodigy
According to Mundo Deportivo, the Hammers made an audacious secret bid to sign the teenager over the summer.
The report claimed “West Ham officials held talks with Fati’s family members” which means the club’s director of football and transfer chief Husillos was actively seeking to bring the star to East London.
Mundo Deportivo reported Barcelona were so concerned about losing him to West Ham, they quickly inserted a huge £88.7million release clause into a hastily arranged three contract which an additional two year option.
Fati has been consigned to a bench role of late since the return of Lionel Messi from injury, though.
But any hopes West Ham might retain of luring him to East London, whether on loan or otherwise, seem bleak.
Fati chance of West Ham luring Ansu after comments on future
“That has been my idea from the very beginning and I hope I can be here all my life. It is a dream come true (to play and score for Barcelona).
“I am calm, I try to do normal things. I spend all day with my teammates, including those from the youth teams. And nothing will change for being up here now.”
West Ham fans must look at the positives
So there you have it West Ham fans. Fati clearly feels he has what it takes to succeed at Barca long-term.
Encouraging as it was that the club were looking to bring in such talented young players, it seems the horse and well and truly bolted now.
Fati is exactly the kind of profile of player the Hammers should be looking to sign. It is the only way the club can build something meaningful for the future.