Barcelona are interested in securing the services of Gremio midfielder Arthur Melo. Some sources in the English press has recently claimed that the Catalans has agreed to terms with the Gremio star but has to meet his club’s asking price to land the player. Apparently, the La Liga club has turned their attention to secure Arthur’s signature after a possible deal for Liverpool playmaker Phillipe Coutinho looking increasingly unlikely.
Most of the speculation of late has suggested that Barca boss Ernesto Valverde is ready to move on to other transfer targets after having three failed bids in the summer in pursuit of Coutinho.
Guillem Balague, a highly respected Spanish football expert has recently confirmed that Arthur has an agreement in place with Barcelona but a transfer price is yet to be finalised with Gremio. In an interview with Sky Sports, he said:
“Arthur has got an agreement with Barcelona, but that needs to be confirmed in an agreement with Gremio, who are demanding the midfielder’s £44m (€50m) buy-out clause be met,”
“Barca will negotiate with Gremio at the right time because they want the player but they don’t want to pay that hefty figure.”
The Brazilian has been likened to Barcelona legends such as Xavi and Iniesta in the Spanish press and has featured in 39 matches for Gremio this season. His impressive performances in South America has caught the eyes of Brazilian coach, Tite in September which earned him an international call-up. However, he’s yet to make his full first-team debut for Brazil so far.
When asked about his immediate future during an interview, Arthur told reporters, “On the Barcelona matter, they did speak with me. We had a meeting, but I want to say that there’s nothing final. Nothing has been defined and I did not sign anything. I am a Gremio player.”
Gremio vice-president Odorico Roman has confirmed that Barcelona along with any other potential suitors will need to meet his release clause if they are to land their highly-rated asset.
He said, “I’d say it’s rare to find midfielders of Arthur’s level in the world right now. There is a €50m release clause, but if a club really wanted to sign him, they’d have to send us a proposal. We would evaluate and decide whether to accept or not.”
Only time will tell whether Barcelona decide to match his release clause in pursuit of Arthur’s signature in the near future as he undoubtedly has the potential to be a big hit at the Nou Camp.