Arthur must be one of the hottest names in the South American transfer market, and for good reason. The 21-year-old Brazilian playmaker was instrumental during Gremio’s Copa Libertadores winning run, and has been tipped to make a move to Europe during the upcoming January transfer window.
And based on recent reports, it seems FC Barcelona have the inside track to sign a midfielder who has already been compared to the likes of Xavi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta. In fact, the midfielder himself confirmed he is contact with Barcelona, but at the same time, he denied the existence of any agreement between him and the Spanish giants.
“On the Barcelona matter, they did speak with me,” the 21-year-old told Esporte Interativo. “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.”
Barca sporting director Robert flew over to South America to watch Arthur play in the Copa Libertadores final against Argentine side Lanus last week. He was reportedly impressed with Arthur’s poise and maturity both on and off the pitch, and it’s not a secret that he is the top transfer target for Los Blaugranas during the coming weeks.
Gremio have said they want to keep Arthur on the team, but that they would evaluate any proposals that come to them. Arthur seems on the verge of leaving and even has some international experience under his belt, since Tite called him up for the World Cup Qualifiers during September this year.
Arthur has a €50 million buyout clause in his current deal.