According to reports in Spain, La Liga table toppers FC Barcelona are closing in on completing a move for Gremio’s midfield powerhouse Arthur Melo. It is understood that a host of English sides were interested in securing his services, but the Spanish giants have won the race to complete his signing within the next few days.
Despite being at the top of their game in the league, there is no doubt that they have an ageing midfield that needs to be improved in the foreseeable future. Sergio Busquets and Andres Iniesta are both on the wrong side of 30, and are getting slower with every passing season.
Arthur is a 21-year-old with loads of potential in his belly and could be the ideal man to anchor Barcelona’s defence for the next few seasons. He has been likened to Iniesta and Xavi by former stars of the Camp Nou outfit, so he could immediately establish a rapport with the faithful.
Barcelona have reached an agreement with Arthur, there will be a meeting with Grêmio later on tonight or tomorrow if they agree to pay €25m for the 60% owned by Grêmio (and under the condition he stays at Grêmio until the end of 2018): https://t.co/foKdcOVggS
— Paulo Freitas (@Cynegeticus) February 19, 2018
It is understood that Barcelona are willing to match the player’s release clause which is reported to be in the region of €50 million. They were in contact with his representatives since the start of the January transfer window, and now look to complete his signing in order to register for the start of pre season in the month of July.
This is also a sign that the club are looking to form a young Brazilian contingent at the club. Philippe Coutinho and Santi Mina have already moved to Camp Nou, and could play ambassadorial duties in welcoming Arthur to his new home.
The 21-year-old is a man for the big occasions as he has played a pivotal role in guiding his current club Gremio to the Copa Libertadores in the month of November last year. While it is unlikely he’ll walk into the playing eleven at Barcelona, he can certainly be groomed into a world-class midfielder for the next decade.