Barcelona Transfer News: Latest Rumours on Arthur and Lucas Digne

Gill Clark@@gillclarkyFeatured Columnist IJanuary 31, 2018

PORTO ALEGRE, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 17: Arthur of Gremio during the match Gremio v Chapecoense as part of Brasileirao Series A 2017, at Arena do Gremio on September 17, 2017, in Porto Alegre, Brazil. (Photo by Lucas Uebel/Getty Images)
Lucas Uebel/Getty Images

Barcelona are reportedly close to agreeing a deal for Gremio midfielder Arthur, and the club are also said to be open to allowing left-back Lucas Digne to leave in the summer. 

Ernesto Valverde's side have made a €30 million offer for Arthur, although the Brazilian side are said to want €36 million, per Sport's Joaquim Piera.

Arthur has a €50 million release clause in his contract, but Gremio are willing to negotiate as the midfielder is keen on a move to the Camp Nou.

However, the Brazilian will not move to Barcelona until after the FIFA 2018 World Cup at the earliest, and Gremio want him to remain at the club until December.

Arthur has emerged as one of the brightest stars in Brazilian football and is a perfect fit for Barcelona, according to Rafael Hernandez of Grup14:

Xavi Hernandez, the man Arthur is being tipped to finally replace at Barcelona, has also given the midfielder's move a seal of approval, per Selecao Brasileira:

Seleção Brasileira @BrazilStat

XAVI gives his opinion: "#Arthur is a special player with Barça DNA, if he signs for Barcelona, I'm sure he'll be a BIG success." https://t.co/io3ccpqEFj

A deal for Arthur looks close, and if Barcelona can get him for a price that is far below his release clause, it would represent a good deal for the Catalan giants. However, supporters may have to wait to see the 21-year-old in action as it is uncertain when he might actually arrive in Spain.

One player who could be on his way out of the Camp Nou in the summer is Digne, according to Albert Gracia at Sport.

The left-back wants more regular game time but has not been particularly impressive when filling in for Jordi Alba and could move on.

Digne's most recent appearance was in the 2-1 La Liga win over Alaves on Sunday. However, Valverde replaced the 24-year-old and Nelson Semedo in the 52nd minute with his side 1-0 down, changes that helped his side secure a 2-1 win, according to ESPN FC's Dermot Corrigan:

Dermot Corrigan @dermotmcorrigan

Reffing decisions aside etc, Valverde's subs at 0-1 down and time running out - change both full-backs, take off record signing on debut - worked really, really well in fairness [again].

Barcelona are interested in bringing in David Alaba from Bayern Munich or could even turn to some of their younger players such as 19-year-old Marc Cucurella or 18-year-old Juan Miranda.

A move for Alaba would be expensive, and with the club having already spent big on Philippe Coutinho and Ousmane Dembele, they could turn to youth instead.

Cucurella is a regular in the Barcelona B side and on the fringes of the first team. He has yet to feature for the senior side this season but has trained with the team on occasion, as shown by the club's official Twitter account:

FC Barcelona B @FCBarcelonaB

💪🔵🔴 Jose Arnaiz, O. Busquets, David Costas, Aleñá & Cucurella have trained with the first team today #fcbarcelona #forçabarça #barçab https://t.co/d6NP7zQbHw

It remains to be seen if Cucurella has done enough to convince Valverde and make the step up to the first team. However, if he did, it would delight supporters to see another player come through the famed La Masia academy and into the senior setup.