Barcelona Officials Travel to Brazil to Open Talks With Santos Over ‘New Neymar’

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Barcelona are believed to have sent top officials Pep Segura and Oscar Grau to Brazil this week to step up their interest teenage Santos star, Rodrygo (who has already been likened to Neymar), and push through an early transfer for Gremio’s Arthur following the departure of Andres Iniesta.

According to Mundo Deportivo (MD), Segura was met in Brazil by Andre Cury, Barça’s adviser in the country and the man who helped organise the Arthur deal.

The club’s latest interest in Brazil centres on Rodrygo. The 17-year-old winger has scored three goals in 10 senior appearances for Santos this year and is also said to have attracted interest from Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City.

What Barça desperately want to avoid is another situation like Vinicius Junior, who had been heavily courted by the Catalans, only for the player to choose La Liga rivals Real Madrid instead.

It is said that the Camp Nou officials intend to sit down for talks with Santos in a bid to lower the asking price from a €50m buyout clause. Of course, when Real beat Barça to the punch over Vinicius it was because Los Blancos had offered a huge €45m fee to trigger his clause.

Do Barça risked being gazumped again, if they get bogged down in trying to negotiate?

The other main order of transfer business in Brazil concerns Arthur and the €39m purchase option that Barça hold for the Gremio midfielder. When the deal was agreed, the Spanish champions announced that the option could be exercised as early as this coming July, although Gremio seem determined to keep the player until the end of the Brazilian season in December.

That would mean he doesn’t arrive in Catalunya until January 2019, but Barça are concerned about a lack of midfield depth given Iniesta’s recent exit to Vissel Kobe in Japan.

It also appears to suggest that recent rumoured doubts about Arthur have subsided.

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