Barcelona have confirmed that they have agreed a purchase option for Gremio midfielder Arthur, which will allow them to sign the player for an up-front fee of €30 million in the future.
The 21-year-old burst onto the scene in 2017 with a series of fine performances for the Brazilian club, helping them to the final of the Copa Libertadores.
Arthur then put in a superlative display in the second leg of the decider, as Gremio prevailed 3-1 on aggregate over Lanus to take home the famous South American trophy.
Links with Barca emerged almost as soon as the final whistle was blown, and he was even pictured in a Barca shirt alongside director Robert Fernandez in the aftermath of the final.
And while Philippe Coutinho’s sensational arrival from Liverpool and Gremio’s insistence on retaining their gem delayed negotiations, a deal has finally been struck.
“Barcelona and Gremio have come to an agreement to exercise a purchase option on Arthur Henrique Ramos de Oliveira Melo, which Barcelona will complete in July 2018,” a statement posted on Barca’s official website confirmed.
“Should the club finally take up the option signed, the transfer fee is fixed at €30m plus a further €9m in bonuses.”
In the meantime, Arthur will continue in Porto Alegre and spearhead Gremio’s bid to retain their Libertadores trophy, while also keeping one eye on Tite’s Brazil team.
The midfielder has been called up to the Selecao but is yet to make his debut, although Tite is a confirmed fan of the young star whose confidence on the ball has led to early comparisons with none other than Andres Iniesta.