From non-transferrable to being 'hard to keep'. That's where Gremio have gone from and to, in their public dialogue over Arthur. A playmaker that Barcelona's technical team like - along with half of Europe. And in just a month and a half.
Robert Fernandez thinks he is similar ot Xavi and Iniesta, because of his positional play, his first-touch football and his idea of team play.
Gremio coach Renato Gaucho said: "During my holidays I spoke a lot with the president, and both Arthur and Luan could be sold depending on the club and offe that arrive. The rest of the squad I'm sure will continue with us, it's all under control."
Barcelona have moved forward in their attempts to sign the 21-year-old jewel. The sporting director told the player, his family and his personal team that his recruitment is a priority for Barca. And Arthur, who knows his game fits the club’s philosophy, will wait in Porto Alegre for the deal to be completed. The best midfielder in the Brazilian league last season will not move to another big European side during the winter window.
Barcelona have moved diligently in the Brazilian market, as they did for Yerry Mina from Palmeiras too, after it became clear Javier Mascherano was going to leave. Coutinho’s arrival means Barcelona will not push for Arthur to join now.
Arthur will stay at Gremio for the first half of 2017, and is currently negotiating with Barca over his future salary. Then the club will open negotiations with Gremio which could happen at the start of February.
Barcelona have no intention of dragging a deal out, especially as Real Madrid are looking to construct a new sporting project after their debacle this season.
Arthur has a contract until 2021 with a 50m euro release fee clause. The fact that Barca has the three non-EU places occupied will not stop their incorporation of a player with a long way ahead of him.