Grêmio president Romildo Bolzan has spoken about the ongoing interest from Barcelona in his star midfielder Arthur, denying that a deal is in place for the 20-year-old to join the Camp Nou club in January 2019 as was widely reported on Tuesday.
“A deal has still not been finalized,” Bolzan said. “There have been plenty of discussions but at this stage the transfer cannot be considered a foregone conclusion.”
However, reports in Brazil assume that it is only a matter of time before the deal is concluded successfully for a fee of between 30 and 40 million euros. Arthur’s rights are shared between Grêmio, who will pocket 60 percent of the proceeds from any deal, businessman Celso Rigo, one of the club’s main financial backers, and the player’s agent Jorge Machado. Any fee may include up to an additional 10 million euros in add-ons.
Coutinho applying for EU residency to free up spot for Arthur
Barça sporting director Robert Fernández has been in Brazil for the past few days along with Andre Cury, Barcelona’s representative in South America who was instrumental in the signing of Neymar, to hammer out the final details.
Meanwhile, Barcelona are attempting to accelerate Philippe Coutinho’s application for EU residency, for which he qualifies through his Portuguese wife. That would open up one of the three permitted non-EU resident places in Barça’s squad, which are currently occupied by Coutinho, Luis Suárez and Yerry Mina.