Gremio may look to start a bidding war for midfielder Arthur, with both Barcelona and Chelsea pursuing the Brazilian, according to Sport.
The Catalan newspaper say that Barca are determined to sign the 21 year old, and a delegation will head out next week to negotiate a transfer fee. Interestingly they also say the midfielder has no release clause in his contract. Previous reports had indicated the player had a £44m buyout fee.
The La Liga club believe they can do a deal for between €20m (£17.7m) and €25m (£22m), but they are worried that Chelsea’s involvement in the transfer could encourage Gremio to increase their asking price. Sport believe the Blues are interested in Arthur as a long term replacement for Cesc Fabregas.
Barcelona are no doubt the favourites to land the Brazilian international. The player has been pictured in a Barca shirt in the presence of the Catalan club’s scout Andre Cury, while technical secretary Robert Fernandez has been in Brazil to watch the midfielder play.
The deal may not actually be finalised in the January transfer window with it also being suggested that the transfer could be agreed now in view to a summer move. Barcelona could then instead look to spend big next month on Arthur’s fellow countryman Philippe Coutinho.