Arthur: Chelsea reportedly ready to move for Barcelona target
Arthur Henrique, who has been photographed in a Barça shirt, could end up moving to the Premier League to replace Cesc Fàbregas.
Speculation has been rife in recent weeks that midfielder Arthur is set for a switch to Barcelona, particularly after the Brazil Under-20 international, who was handed his first senior Seleçao call-up in September, was photographed wearing the LaLiga giants' home shirt earlier this month.
Chelsea unfazed by Arthur's 50-million-euro asking price
However, Barça appear yet to make a formal offer for the Gremio starlet, with the chief stumbling block to the move thought to be the 21-year-old's release clause: having renewed his contract with the Brazilian club three months ago, his buy-out figure now stands at 50 million euros. On top of that, Blaugrana boss Ernesto Valverde has openly admitted that he knows little about the player.
According to the newspaper The Mirror, meanwhile, the asking price for Arthur isn't a problem for Premier League champions Chelsea, whose manager, Antonio Conte, is looking to strengthen his midfield and inject greater youth into his squad. According to the British daily, Arthur has been identified by the Blues as a potential long-term replacement for Cesc Fàbregas, who turns 31 in May.
Gremio keen for Arthur to stay - but know they'll struggle to keep him
Despite Arthur being linked with a transfer to Europe, Gremio's plan is to see the youngster remain in Brazil for another season or two - although the Porto Alegre side's head coach, Renato Gaucho, has conceded that the Copa Libertadores winners may find it difficult to keep hold of him beyond 2018.