Gremio Chief Denies Speculation Suggesting That Arthur Could be Moving to Barca This Summer

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Gremio’s club president has denied any rumours surrounding the immediate sale of the Brazilian club’s star man Arthur to Barcelona, claiming that he believes the previous deal made between the two clubs should be honoured.

The Catalan giants agreed a purchase deal for the Brazilian midfielder back in March which gave them the option to sign the player for fee that could rise up to £34m. According to Spanish newspaper AS, Barca are keen to bring the deal forward and are currently in talks to secure the signing as soon as possible.

The need to sign Arthur is a result of Andres Iniesta’s departure and Carles Alena’s recent injury which has left manager Ernesto Valverde with a potential shortage of midfielders.

However, Gremio’s club president Romildo Bolzan Jr. is not providing Barca with much sympathy and he is instead focused on keeping Arthur until January 2019.

Speaking to Sport, he said: “The position of Gremio is the contract that we signed. There is no new factor that could mean that we have to renegotiate with Barcelona or that we can undo what we have already signed.

“What we agreed is that Barcelona has the right to carry out the exercise of preference, but once it is executed the player will only go in January.”

Arthur has now made 48 appearances for Gremio, scoring twice, and his performances have also earned him two call ups to the Brazilian national squad.

Bolzan Jr. went on to add that none of the speculation will affect Gremio’s decision regarding the nature of the previous deal.

“A lot of news comes out of Gremio, a lot of things come from Spain, and every moment someone points out something about Barcelona doing this or that it generates a climate of doubt,” he said.

“But Gremio has a clear and defined position and there is no new situation that changes it.”

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