Valverde will decide if Arthur arrives this summer

Barcelona will leave the decision as to whether they bring in Arthur now or in January up to Valverde

Arthur, futuro blaugrana
Arthur, futuro blaugrana | sport

Barcelona will activate their €30m option-to-buy clause for Arthur before the 15th July. The agreement with Gremio states that Arthur, 21 years old, will complete the current season in Brazil and won't arrive at the Camp Nou until the winter transfer window opens in January, 2019.

Ernesto Valverde has now been asked by the club whether he'd like to bring that move forward and have the young midfielder available from the start of this season. After such a successful domestic campaign, winning a league and cup double, Barcelona are leaving the decision in the hands of the coach.

If the coach decides he wants to add Arthur to his squad now, a player those in Brazil compare with Xavi and Iniesta, Barcelona will enter negotiations with Gremio to bring forward the deal.

In the agreement for Arthur, which was made back in May, there is no specific compensation clause should the player leave Porto Alegre between July and August.

In fact, the only condition that Porto Alegre put on the table when negotiating the deal was that the player would stay with them until December in order to help them qualify for the Club World Cup again.

In the last few weeks Gremio's president, Romildo Bolzan Jr, has repeated both in private and in public that there's no chance they will lose such a key player in the middle of the season.

This is same information that SPORT was told by the football executive, Andre Zanotta, who was involved in all the negotiations between the two teams.

However, Barcelona believe that Gremio will sit down with them and it's possible they could reach an agreement, such was the case last January when Yerry Mina joined following Javier Mascherano's surprise switch to the Chinese Super League.

Arthur, at the moment, will stay on the sidelines should the two teams decide to negotiate about bringing forward his move to Barcelona. He doesn't want to cause any problems with Gremio as they are his boyhood club. Arthur wants to leave in the correct manner, as a hero, and as a mark of respect to the club which helped him develop into the best midfielder in South America.

The player won't get nervous because he knows, come July, he will officially become a Barcelona player for the next five seasons. He's ready to make the jump to European football as he told SPORT in an interview he gave us.

However, if Arthur does stay at Porto Alegre until December then he'll continue in the same vein of form. This means making the difference in the Brazilian league, arguably the most competitive in South America, and in the Copa Libertadores, where he was named the MVP in last year's final.

Whether Arthur comes early or not depends on one thing: how Barcelona's midfield is looking after some players leave and new players come in to replace them.

Aside from the debate over who will become the new main objective now that Antoine Griezmann has decided to stay at Atletico Madrid, Barcelona want to reinforce the creative area of the team. They want someone who can, at least in part, fulfil the role Iniesta held before his move to Japan.

Arthur's rise to fame at Gremio came with him playing as a double pivot. In his current club he determines the tempo of the attack, leaves his mark on the style of play, and speeds it up when necessary. Although this season he's been involved a lot more in the opposition's box and has scored four goals. However his main role remains to creative chances for those ahead of him.


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