Barcelona transfer news: Future signing wants Iniesta to stay, Defender hands transfer blow, and more - 21st March 2018
Arthur Melo wants Andres Iniesta to stay
The Gremio midfielder is set to join Barcelona as early as this summer with a deal worth €39 million in place between the clubs. The 21-year old has been tipped by many to be Andres Iniesta's successor as they have similar styles of play.
The former's arrival coupled with the presence of January signing, Philippe Coutinho, is expected to affect the Blaugrana captain's playing time.
Iniesta recently revealed he has an offer from China and is pondering over a move. Now, Arthur himself spoke about the situation and said in an interview with globo.com (via Mundo Deportivo):
"I saw on Instagram, but I do not know if it's true, that maybe Iniesta can go to China. My will is for him to remain in Barca because a player of Iniesta's quality is nowhere to be found. I would love to play with him. And I think the fans and the Barcelona board want the same. "
Arthur further expressed his opinion regarding comparisons with Iniesta and said:
"I do not want to enter into that, into labels because Iniesta is an idol, but he has his characteristic and I have mine. He is Iniesta, he is a God of soccer. And I'm just starting. I have to focus on getting there and playing my best football. And we will see what happens. If things happen well, if I adapt well to the team, to the city, I want to have an incredible career. But Iniesta is a guy that I admire. If I get close to him, it's going to be rewarding."
Thus, present players and future arrivals all want Iniesta to stay, however, the decision will purely belong to the club legend after his incredible service to Barcelona.
Milan Skriniar desires to stay at Inter for the long haul
The 23-year old is becoming a top defender at the San Siro since he joined Inter in the summer from Sampdoria. His quality and consistency this season have attracted interest from the likes of Manchester United and Barcelona, as per reports from The Daily Star. However, the player has put to bed the rumours by expressing his desire to stay at Inter for the long haul.
Skriniar spoke at the Slovakian Player of the Year awards ceremony and said:
"I really like Inter. I am very happy to be here and it will be nice to make a career like the one that Marek Hamsik has had at Napoli."
This comes as a huge blow to the suitors as Skriniar could be a superb fit for the top clubs. Ernesto Valverde definitely needs another defender in the summer to partner Samuel Umtiti in the long run as Yerry Mina is slowly adapting to his new surroundings.
However, all hope is not lost considering Skriniar's agent Karol Csonto was optimistic of a move should a huge bid come in. Last November, he said:
"He signed a five-year contract with Inter in the summer, so no one within the club is thinking about selling him. It may happen that someone offers so much money that Inter have to consider it, but I don't want to speculate if it would be €50m or €70m. He's doing really well in Milan, he's playing well so obviously his price is increasing.”
Thus, Barcelona need to make another huge bid if they want to land the Slovakian star.
Barcelona open to Andre Gomes sale
The Portuguese star has struggled to make the expected impact at Camp Nou since he arrived on the back of a successful Euro 2016. Now, his compatriot, Cristiano Ronaldo, has told close friends that Andre Gomes has an offer from a Chinese club, who are willing to pay €50 million for his signature, as per reports from Don Balon.
As per the report, Barcelona are open to selling the midfielder but the move is not expected to go through as Gomes wants to prove his worth at Barcelona and does not want a move to China. Despite receiving a superior financial offer, the 24-year old is reportedly willing to put in the work needed to become a first-team regular in Valverde's squad.
While Gomes could look to stay, he is running out of time as the season nears completion. The arrival of Arthur will further reduce his playing time and it could turn out to be a crucial summer for Gomes' career.