Barcelona have taken a near definitive step forward to sign Gremio midfielder Arthur. SPORT have learned that the Catalan club has reached a deal overnight with Gremio, so that the 21 year old will move to Camp Nou, as a potential future Andres Iniesta.
Representatives from both sides met in Porto Alegre. Robert Fernandez and Barcelona's South American football staff mmeber Andre Cury were there, while Gremio president Romildo Bozan, delegate Carlos Amodeo, director of football Andre Zanotta and lawer Gabriel Vieira were present too.
According to Gremio sources, Barcelona presented an offer of 30m euros, plus 10m more in variables. Arthur's clause is 50m euros.
The idea is that Barcelona would give Gremio 5m of the variables when he reaches a certain amount of official games for Barcelona. The other 5m will go when he signs his first contract renewal with the club.
Fernandez and Cury will meet Gremio directors again on Tuesday to hammer out the final parts of the deal. One of those is whether Barcelona will take the player straight away after the Russia World Cup or loan him back to Gremio until December, when the South American season ends.
It's not ruled out that on Tuesday the Brazilian club will make the deal public.
Sadly Robert cannot watch Arthur play in the Recopa Sudamericana, because he has not been called up after injury. Gremio coach Renato Portaluppi said he is not 100 per cent fit. His return could be on Saturday against Novo Hamburg, in the Campeonato Gaucho.
Arthur has been out since November 29, getting injured during the Copa Libertatdores final, in which he was the man of the match. He missed the Club World Cup final against Real Madrid.