Barcelona Transfer News: Arthur Agreement Reached with Gremio

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistMarch 11, 2018

PORTO ALEGRE, BRAZIL - NOVEMBER 22: Arthur of Gremio controls for the ball during a first leg match between Gremio and Lanus as part of Copa Bridgestone Libertadores 2017 Final at Arena do Gremio on November 22, 2017 in Porto Alegre, Brazil. (Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images)
Buda Mendes/Getty Images

Barcelona confirmed on Sunday they have reached an agreement to sign Gremio midfielder Arthur.

In a statement on their official website, Barcelona say they can exercise the option as early as July 2018. The deal will cost a potential €39 million (£35 million).

Here's how the 21-year-old may look in the club colours:

"Arthur is a midfielder who is known for his passing ability," the Barcelona statement continued. "Another of his qualities is his ability to lose his man, a factor that makes him a danger close to the opponents' area. The Brazilian is excellent at protecting the ball and can come up with the final pass in the final third."

The youngster is set to arrive at Barcelona with a big reputation. Andy Mitten of ESPN FC rates him highly, as do some players in Brazilian football:

As football journalist Rik Sharma noted, while the Blaugrana have confirmed an agreement to sign Arthur has been reached, the deal hasn't yet gone through:

Arthur made his breakthrough in 2017 when he became a crucial part of the Gremio side that won the Copa Libertadores. He showcased tremendous maturity in midfield despite his tender years.

Per Robin Bairner of Goal, while links between the Gremio playmaker and Barcelona man have been around since the Copa win, the deal has been far from straightforward to strike. Arthur was actually pictured alongside Barcelona sporting director Robert Fernandez in the club colours.

Additionally, with Gremio said to be keen to hang on to their star man, the club's legal advisor told Estudio Gaucha (h/t David F. Sanchidrian of AS) the club would be making a complaint to FIFA against Barca.

But the Blaugrana have been able to get their man it would seem, and thoughts will now turn to how he will fit into the XI at the Camp Nou in the future. As WhoScored.com noted, he's someone who aligns with Barca's possession-based philosophy:

At the moment, Barcelona have a plethora of high-class midfield options, with the likes of Andres Iniesta, Philippe Coutinho, Paulinho, Ivan Rakitic and Andre Gomes all vying for a place in the side.

It means Arthur will have to fight for his place when he does arrive. Although in the nascent stages of his career, he's showcased enough class and determination to make it in Catalonia.

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