Barcelona are reportedly closing in on a move to bring Gremio midfielder Arthur Melo to Nou Camp in the January transfer window.
According to Spanish publication Marca, Barcelona are close to adding to their list of January signings, with the club thought to be closing in on Gremio midfielder Arthur Melo. The player has been long linked to Barcelona and it seems the Catalan giants are set to bring the Brazilian over to Europe.
Arthur Melo has been a rather late bloomer. The Brazilian did feature for the National Under-17 and Under-20 sides but was never in the limelight in the national scene, with several others grabbing the headlines. But, his progression at Gremio has caught everyone’s attention.
The 21-year-old has already amassed 40 senior appearances for Gremio and has already been called up to the Brazilian National Team, but is yet to make his senior debut for Brazil. This, though, has not deterred suitors, with the likes of Barcelona, Chelsea and Manchester United linked to the midfielder.
Barcelona seemed to have nabbed Arthur as the Gremio player was snapped in a Barcelona shirt. But, the controversy was later cleared and Gremio’s stance on the midfielder’s availability has even toughened since then, with the club placing an astounding price tag of €50 million to deter Barcelona and others.
Barça’s representative in Brazil, André Cury, has arrived in Porte Alegre today to negotiate the arrival of Brazilian midfielder Arthur Melo (21) from Grëmio. Barça already have a personal agreement with the player. pic.twitter.com/Z3uYCwLD2b
— ᵁᴸᵀᴿᴬ® (@UltraAutistic) January 26, 2018
Arthur is a pure midfielder and one that Barcelona could use. The Catalans have Sergio Busquets as the buffer to diffuse the attacks of the opposition while their more creative stars do the work upfront. But, the club has been looking for a cover and potential long-term replacement for the Spaniard since the summer.
Names like Houssem Aouar, Marco Verratti and Leon Goretzka had come up as potential candidates. But, while Goretzka has agreed to join Bayern Munich on a free transfer in the summer, Aouar is deemed to not be as developed a star as the other names.
Verratti, on the other hand, could be out of Barcelona’s reach, which makes Arthur Melo a viable target. While Barcelona are unwilling to pay the €50 million, they are quietly confident of getting a deal done at a lower fee, with Arthur Melo supposedly eager to join the club as well.
Barcelona’s key man Andre Cury, who played a key role in the club’s capture of Yerry Mina, Neymar and Coutinho, has already been deployed to negotiate with Gremio. The report states that Barcelona could get the deal done before the January transfer window slams shut.
And Arthur could become the latest Latin American addition at Barcelona.