Prem rivals Brighton have swooped to seal the shock signing of a star who had secret West Ham talks but there’s a catch in sensational Ansu Fati deal.

There has been a shock development in the race to sign one of the world’s leading young talents who has been coveted by West Ham.

The Hammers came incredibly close to signing Barcelona’s teenage sensation Ansu Fati in the summer of 2019.

According to Bleacher Report and the likes of The Daily Mail, West Ham had an agreement in place with Fati and his family but the move for the then 17-year-old was scuppered because of issues with his Spanish passport.

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Mundo Deportivo also reported on West Ham’s audacious secret bid to sign the teenager.

The report claimed “West Ham officials held talks with Fati’s family members”.

And Barcelona were so concerned about losing him to West Ham, they quickly inserted a huge £88.7million release clause into a hastily arranged new contract.

Fati remained at the Camp Nou, though, where he was hailed the natural heir to Lionel Messi.

But after a promising start, things have not quite worked out that way.

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And West Ham have been consistently linked with a surprise move for the Spain prodigy since – including earlier in this current transfer window.

That came after SPORT claimed Fati was one of three players Barca were eagerly trying to offload to raise money.

Well now the reported West Ham target finally looks set for a move to the Premier League.

Brighton have swooped to seal the shock signing of the star who had secret West Ham talks but there’s a catch in the sensational Fati deal.

Out of the blue late last night, Fabrizio Romano and others reported that Brighton had sealed a loan deal to bring Fati to the Amex for the season.

Romano even gave the fast-moving capture his trademark ‘here we go’ ahead of an expected official announcement from Brighton today or tomorrow.

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But while it is undoubtedly a major coup for the Seagulls, who West Ham beat 3-1 at the weekend, there’s a also a big catch.

Because there is no option or obligation to buy clause in the deal for Fati. And that means no matter how well he does at Brighton – he will be returning to Barcelona at the end of the season to be kept or sold as they wish.

“Ansu Fati to Brighton, here we go!” Romano said.

“Deal in place between Brighton and Barca as revealed earlier, verbal agreement now done.

“NO buy option clause. Loan deal until June 2024. Main part of salary covered. Travel booked on Thursday, Brighton want it signed ASAP.”

Barca have clearly seen what performing well at Brighton can do for a young player’s valuation.

And Brighton are using that to their advantage to land Fati in what is one of the surprise signings of the summer transfer window.

But openly selling yourself as a stepping stone does not work for bigger clubs like West Ham and others who would likely have insisted on at least an option to buy at a set price.

Hence why the Seagulls have been able to land Fati ahead of a host of others who would undoubtedly have been interested had it not been a straight loan.


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