Barcelona have made contact with Germio midfielder Arthur, one of the stars of the Brazilian club's recent triumph in the Copa Libertadores.
Sporting director Robert Fernandez did not only watch the 21-year-old (whose reference is Andres Iniesta) live this week, but he also spoke to his representatives to learn first hand how the player sees his future.
SPORT have learned that Robert dined with the player's agents in Porto Alegre after the first leg of the Libertadores final against Lanus.
Robert left South America with his homework done. He'd observed the revelation of Brazilian football in 2017 and had got close to the midfielder's people.
Barça know the player would prefer a move to Camp Nou. But given his explosion on to the scene and the interest in Europe -- Jose Mourinho's Manchester United are also linked -- they will have to move quickly or miss out.
The option of agreeing a deal but leaving him in Brazil has been ruled out. It's what Barça did with Gerson, Marlon and Kenedy from Fluminense, with Gabriel Jesus at Palmeiras and most recently with Yerry Mina, also at Palmeiras.
BUYOUT: 50 millION euros
If Barça decide to move for Arthur, they will have to pay a bit. His contract runs until 2021 and his buyout clause is 50 million euros.
The competition will be tough. His performances in the Libertadores, which will allow him to play in the Club World Cup, has provoked international interest and in October he was called up to the Brazil squad.
Barcelona once again have worked diligently on the Brazilian market. Scouting reports first arrived at the beginning of the year, detecting Arthur's potential.
Now they have to decide if they want to sign the midfielder who, at 21, has a promising future.