After months of speculation, Barcelona are finally closing in on 21-year Gremio midfielder Arthur Melo, after Blaugrana Chief Robert Fernandez was spotted in Brazil to seal the deal.
With this move close to completion, Barcelona see off competition from Real Madrid as well as multiple Premier League clubs, with Manchester United being the most serious contender amongst them.
Before the January transfer window, Jose Mourinho was known to be keeping tabs on Arthur for creative reinforcements in the winter window, but a deal could not be struck.
Arthur made his senior bow for Gremio back in January 2015 under former Chelsea boss Luiz Felipe Scolari. But after playing just 45 minutes he did not feature in the first team again until the following season.
Since then Arthur has made 37 appearances, scoring twice. He has represented his country at youth level, including at Under 17 and Under 20.
Arthur was part of the Brazil squad which featured at the 2013 South American Under 17 Football Championship.
While Arthur does not make the headlines for his goal scoring acumen or fancy dribbling, his greatest asset is his brilliant reading of the game, his startling bursts past defenders and the ability to spot the right pass and execute it perfectly.
This makes him an ideal long-term replacement for Andres Iniesta, who’s expected to hang his boots in the coming season.
Barcelona will be hoping Arthur strikes up a partnership with fellow Brazilian, as the pair’s chemistry could be a big part of Barcelona’s arsenal in the coming seasons.