Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman has confirmed teenage star Ansu Fati is ahead of teammate Ousmane Dembele in his first team plans this season.
The Dutch coach has placed his faith in 17-year old Fati at the start of the 2020-21 La Liga campaign, with three goals in two starts for the Spanish international.
French international Dembele was linked with a potential last minute exit from the club, but technical secretary Ramon Planes confirmed this week there is no plan to sell him.
However, despite the former Borussia Dortmund star looking set play a role in 2020-21, Koeman stated he has work to do to force his way into the starting XI.
“We have a lot of competition in attack and a lot of quality,” he told an interview with Marca.
“Dembélé can play on both sides, but we have many players to fit in.
“Ansu is ahead of Dembélé. If a player is unhappy, he can talk to me. But he has not spoken to me and I will be counting on him.”
The 23-year old has struggled with injuries during his three seasons at the Camp Nou, missing an estimated 80 games through injury.
Dembele will need to be patient under Koeman, with Fati, Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann operating as the current first choice attacking options.
However the return to action of Philippe Coutinho demonstrates Koeman is open to giving players a second chance in Catalonia.