Chelsea and West Ham both had the chance to sign Ansu Fati before he became a star for Barcelona but were denied by passport issues around the youngster.

That’s according to CalciomercatoHotel, who detail how the current Barcelona star could have had a very different career thus far.

As you’ll know, Fati is one of the highest-rated youngsters in European football, having burst onto the scene at Barcelona over the last year or so and shown his abilities on more than one occasion.

The youngster is a bonafide star, having taken the number ten shirt when Lionel Messi departed, so much so that Ronald Koeman’s side are currently desperate for him to get fit and return to their side to aid their ailing fortunes.

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He’s ‘put a smile on the Blaugrana world’, but things could have been very different for him as, in 2018, he very nearly ended up at Nice.

According to the website, ‘all was done’ on the move, including agreements, handshakes and pre-contracts. In fact, his father, Mr Bori Fati, was even posing with his son’s new shirt for souvenir shots.

However, the transfer ‘blew up’ because of an issue with his passport. Basically, Fati neeed an EU one, which he didn’t have, and to get it, he would have to continue playing in Spain.

That then forced him to stay at Barcelona and led to his last two contracts, the latest of which includes a €170m release clause. It could have been very different, though, and Nice weren’t the only ones trying for his signature.

CM Hotel say that Juventus, Chelsea and West Ham were all ‘real possibilities’ at one point for the youngster, but ‘bureaucratic’ issues close those doors as well.

Things were advanced, though, with the Blues and the Hammers also having ‘meetings, contacts’ and earning the ‘consensus’ of his father in terms of financial matters as well.

The passport, however, has ‘always been an impediment’ for them, though, and so his agent instead pushed for him to sign his first professional contract with Barcelona instead.

The rest is now history, and Chelsea and West Ham are simply left to wonder what might have been for them, with dreams of seeing Ansu Fati at either Stamford Bridge or London Stadium now long gone.