Barcelona transfer news: Arthur deal almost done, Club worried about Messi and more - 9th March 2018
Gremio chief confirms Arthur deal is nearing completion
The Gremio midfielder is one of the top targets for Barcelona manager, Ernesto Valverde, with the Brazilian club's hierarchy speaking about the deal openly in recent weeks. Now, their president Romildo Bolzan confirmed that an announcement can be expected soon, as Goal understands. He said:
"The topic is on its way to being finished. The documents are not signed yet, but the transfer is reaching the final phase. I think it will be over by tomorrow or the day after tomorrow."
"Some things still depend on legal issues. It still requires some care. It is heading towards a final situation tomorrow, I believe."
Thus, Barcelona are set to add the talented 21-year old to their lineup soon. Further, this could impact the futures of the aging Andres Iniesta, Andre Gomes, and Ivan Rakitic as it does not look rosy for them at Camp Nou.
Meanwhile, Arthur can look to become a part of a Brazilian midfield alongside January signing, Philippe Coutinho, and is touted to be the heir to Iniesta for years to come.
Ernesto Valverde speaks about potential Dembele departure
The 20-year old has struggled to get going at Camp Nou after the big money move from Borussia Dortmund in the summer. While injuries have definitely played their part, the wide attacker has also looked out of place in the Barcelona system at times.
Naturally, questions regarding his future have popped up and one was shot to Valverde. The Blaugrana manager was asked about lifestyle issues within the squad, hinting at Dembele's and he responded by saying:
“This question surprises me a bit. All of the players off the field are the most professional in the world to perform on Sunday and in the case of Dembele, they use trusted people, nutritionists. We are happy with him and he is going to help us a lot.”
In fact, Valverde was impressed by the Frenchman's performances in the Catalonia Super Cup victory over Espanyol and remarked:
“He tried to get involved in play and has worked on individuals moves and it is useful for us, little by little. We hope that he translates that into Liga games.”
Thus, the coach definitely believes in the youngster's potential and it could only be a matter of time before Dembele starts showing his true level at Camp Nou.
Barcelona worried about Messi's release clause
The 30-year old signed a new contract with the Blaugrana back in November with a huge release clause of €700 million. This came as a huge relief for everyone associated with the club as his contract was set to expire at the end of the season. Instead, the Argentine is contracted to stay at Camp Nou until 2021.
However, the club is not breathing easy as they are worried about potential bids from suitors, despite the high release clause. Pancho Schroder, the club's financial and strategy director, spoke about the situation and said:
"We set up a clause which we think is enough to have Messi retire at FC Barcelona. But having said that, we thought a year ago that the clause for Neymar was also good enough to retain the player, and that proved last summer not to be the case."
"Looking at the future, I think, is difficult, but I don't have a crystal ball and these days things are getting a little bit crazy."
Neymar's world-record move has definitely hurt Barcelona and losing their biggest talisman, Messi will affect the club in several ways. However, Messi is not getting any younger and spending that much amount of money on one player can be expected to be slightly out of reach in the current market.