Barcelona transfer news: Arthur medical and contract details, Hazard speaks to Messi about move, and more - 21st February 2018
Barcelona are set to complete the signing of Arthur Melo
The Gremio midfielder has been linked with Barcelona for quite some time now, including a photo surfacing on the internet with him in a Blaugrana jersey alongside club secretary Robert Fernandez back in December. Now, he is set for a medical to complete the move as per Spanish news outlet, Sport.
This comes on the heels of the same outlet revealing a few days ago, that the Catalan outfit have agreed on a deal to sign Arthur. As per the reports, the Brazilian is set to complete his medical to confirm the move but he will only join Ernesto Valverde's side in the January of 2019.
It is this part of the agreement that allowed Barcelona to bring down the transfer fee from his release clause of €50 million to €40 million. The agreed fee includes €30 million to be paid up front with €10 million coming in the form of variables based on Arthur's appearances and his first contract renewal at Camp Nou.
As the talented midfielder, likened to the ageing Andres Iniesta, is set to be loaned back to the Brazilian club until December, the latter agreed to let the player leave for a lower price. Thus, the Blaugrana continue to rebuild and freshen up their squad as Arthur is set to become a key long-term addition to Valverde's squad.
Eden Hazard tips off Lionel Messi on his desire to join Barcelona
The duo faced off in a high-profile clash between Chelsea and Barcelona in the first leg of the Champions League round of 16 which ended in 1-1. Now, Diario Gol have reported that the Chelsea no.10 spoke to Messi about his future, which could irk Real Madrid president, Florentino Perez.
Hazard is one of the top summer targets for Real Madrid as Zinedine Zidane is keen to bring in the Belgian to the Bernabeu. However, the 27-year old has spoken to Messi about the same and revealed he will end up at Madrid only because the Blaugrana are not interested in signing him.
The Belgian wizard dreams of playing with Messi and this news should be a welcome one at Camp Nou. However, any deal for one of the best players in the Premier League will cost a fortune and the Catalan outfit will have to shell out another big sum to land Hazard and deal a major blow to rivals Real Madrid.
Iniesta's father clears the air on exit rumours
The Barcelona captain picked up an assist as Messi scored the all-important equalizer at Stamford Bridge in the UEFA Champions League round of 16 first leg. However, his future is up in the air with reports from Sport stating that the 33-year old has a tempting offer from China.
Now, his father. Jose Antonio Iniesta, was asked regarding a potential exit in the summer and he told Cadena SER:
"It would not be a bad thing if he went to China, when Andres says 'I'm leaving' people are going to applaud him because they know how honest he is, he will never compete against Barça and now with the age It is not going to be the time."
It is definitely true that Iniesta will be allowed to decide his future similar to Xavi and Javier Mascherano, given his immense contribution to the club. However, the club legend can be expected to stay firmly at Barcelona for now and any decision on his future will be made only in the summer with the business end of the season approaching.