Barcelona wonderkid Ansu Fati has been left out of the Spain Under-17 squad for the upcoming Under-17 World Cup.
The Spanish Football Federation pushed for Fati to be granted a Spanish passport which would allow him to represent La Roja, but Barcelona were reluctant to allow him to leave for international duty as they wanted him for their first team.
Spain confirmed their squad of youngsters on their official website, but Fati's name is nowhere to be seen.
Spain Under-21 manager Luis de la Fuente recently confirmed (via Football Espana) that Fati was yet to meet all the criteria to represent Spain, but he did reveal that the intention was for the youngster to miss the Under-17 World Cup and instead move straight to the Under-21 setup.
De la Fuente said: “Ansu Fati is not with us in this selection because at the moment he is not available for us.
Some wonderful stuff here from @Andy_Headspeath with Ansu Fati's first coach, incl. the time Fati assisted his own bicycle kick – and when the coach went to the town hall because he couldn't believe someone so young could be so good.https://t.co/O205W5UJLs— Chris Deeley (@ThatChris1209) September 23, 2019
"Once he becomes available then this is an option that will interest us, but because of the legal documentation not being sorted, he is not ready. We would have gone through the sufficient steps if we could have done.”
As a result, he remains eligible to represent both Portugal and Guinea-Bissau at international level, but Spain are believed to be keen on sealing Fati's commitment as soon as possible and they are even considering calling him up to the senior side once the necessary paperwork comes through.
Whilst this is all going on, the ruling will be fantastic news for Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde, who was desperate to keep Fati around for his upcoming club fixtures.
Should he have travelled to the Under-17 World Cup, Fati would have missed several of Barcelona's games in both La Liga and the Champions League, including a crucial meeting with league leaders Real Madrid after the international break.