FC Barcelona have found their long-term replacement for Sergio Busquets. They had been linked with a move for Gremio star Arthur and many experts believed an agreement would be reached during the January transfer window, but talks stalled and at one point these were completely dead.
Not anymore, however, and Los Blaugranas have signed their man. According to AS, Barcelona have completed the signing of Arthur Melo for a €30 million fee, although the transfer could end up being worth another €10 million in add-ons. The Brazilian will sign a five-year contract with the Catalan giants.
The Spanish giants have not confirmed the deal, but they did not deny it either. Meanwhile, several Brazilian outlets have already reported it so it seems it’s just a matter of time before it becomes 100% official.
Arthur registered 51 appearances and two goals for Gremio, although he is not known for his attacking qualities. Instead, the holding midfielder has been dubbed as “the new Xavi” by several experts due to his ability to control the pace of the game while rarely losing the ball.
The 21-year-old might have a hard time establishing as a regular for Barca early on, since he will have to fight for a starting spot in midfield with Sergio Busquets, Andres Iniesta, Paulinho and Ivan Rakitic. But this is a long-term move, and all signs indicate Arthur is destined to be a star sooner than later.