‘No Barca offer for Arthur’

Barcelona have not made an official bid for Gremio midfielder Arthur, according to the Brazilian club’s President.

Arthur was photographed wearing a Barca jersey earlier in the month, prompting speculation that a move to Camp Nou was on the horizon, but Romildo Bolzan made it clear the 21-year-old could only leave for his €50m release clause.

“It’s a big blow, yes. He’ll be back in January,” he told Marca, referring to news that the starlet would miss Saturday’s Club World Cup Final against Real Madrid.

“Is he that good? He’s a deep-lying playmaker, a very decisive player, with the ability to keep the ball and pass well.

“He’s a player who gives a lot of balance to the team and is extremely technical. Surprise to see him wear Barca’s jersey? Yes, because Gremio knew I was coming over for lunch, but it ended up being with only a Barcelona director that I didn’t even know.

“It was a strange situation, a slip-up, one that the player was unknowingly put in. It bothered Gremio a lot, but hey, it’s already happened.

“There’s no offer from Barcelona, none at all. They haven’t contacted us and if they did, what we’ll tell them is that the only way he can leave is if they pay his clause of 50m.

“Have Gremio reported Barca to FIFA? No. For now, we’ll wait and see how this situation develops.

“Everything that happened was in a private environment and we’re going to let it be for now.

“Madrid? For now, they haven’t said anything to us. We’ve seen that something’s been said, but they haven’t told us anything directly.

“We’ll also refer them to his clause and I don’t think we’re going to change our position.

“We’re talking about a 21-year-old player going into the Brazilian national team, and we believe he’ll also go to the World Cup.

“He’s a player who became the revelation of the Brazilian League last season and has fantastic potential. We’ve also improved his contract.”

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