Reports: £44m playmaker to reject Real Madrid for Barcelona in January
What's the story?
Oh, Real Madrid. Oh, Real Madrid.
Los Blancos can't seem to catch a break, can they?
With the transfer window fast approaching, it appears Madrid are going to get beaten off the pitch just as they were on it by their hated foe and it's all starting off in Brazil.
Barcelona have, in fact, been behind Copa Libertadores champions and FIFA Club World Cup finalists Gremio's magical little playmaker Arthur for quite some time now but while they were willing to wait it out to sign the young Brazilian, it appears that pressure from Real Madrid who are also in contact with Arthur has forced the Catalans' hands and reports in noted Brazilian daily Globo Esporte suggest that Arthur has decided too and will join Barcelona in January one the Catalans pay out his buy-out clause of €50 million (or £44 million).
In case you didn't know
Arthur was pictured in a Barcelona shirt recently alongside a Barca representative in Brazil and that sparked off a controversy that forced Arthur to issue clarifications - clarifications which also confirmed he had been in touch with Barca
“On the Barcelona issue, they really talked to me. We had a meeting, but I want to clarify that we have nothing agreed or defined,” he told Esporte Interativo. "It's a club that I admire a lot. It was only first contact for them to get to know me and my family, and for me to meet them, let's take it easy. There is nothing definite, but we did have a conversation.
"I'm a Gremio player. My agent did not negotiate any contract. That did not happen. Any deal has to be good for me and good for the club, which is my home, where everything started. I arrived at 14, I am a Gremio fan at heart, my blood is blue.”
The heart of the matter
In the recent past Barcelona have been getting beat by Real Madrid in the transfer market - especially domestically where Marco Asensio, Dani Ceballos, Theo Hernandez all chose Madrid over Barca - but this appears to be the first sign of a shift back in the Catalan's favour.
Here's what's gotten everyone interested in Arthur
Lad can play, alright
Barcelona are constantly on the look-out for players that fit the "Barcelona philosophy" of playing through the midfield and moving the ball about on the ground - Arthur fits the description to the T and as the next big thing in Brazilian football, £44 million might soon start looking like a bargain.