Barcelona will be a man short in midfield after Andres Iniesta’s exit this week, but any hopes they had of bringing in their preferred solution this summer have seemingly taken a hit.
The Catalan giants secured a domestic double this past season, comfortably winning the La Liga title and Copa del Rey in a successful first campaign at the helm for coach Ernesto Valverde.
The Spanish tactician will arguably be well advised to avoid disrupting the balance in his side as much as possible this summer, but it doesn’t appear as though Arthur Melo will be arriving from Gremio ahead of next season to have an influence one way or the other.
As noted by Sport, the Brazilian starlet is expected to join Barcelona in a deal worth €43m in total. However, while they will have to exercise their option to buy him by July 15, Gremio president Romildo Bolzan Junior has reiterated that they have no intention of allowing Arthur to make the move to Europe this summer.
“There’s no chance that Arthur leaves the club in the coming months because it’s already written down, there’s a contract signed and that is not a possibility,” he is quoted as saying by Sport.
“The only right that Barça have is an option to buy him, in which case they must do the transaction before July 15.”
With that in mind, it sounds as though the earliest opportunity that Barcelona fans could see Arthur in a Blaugrana jersey is January 2019, and they’ll undoubtedly be hoping that it’s worth the wait.
Still only 21 years of age and with this of course set to be his first experience of European football, Barcelona will have to be patient with the youngster as he adjusts to life in Spain.
As seen with January arrival Yerry Mina, particularly with Barcelona’s style of play in mind, it will arguably require time and patience if Arthur does indeed seal his move to the Nou Camp.