Gremio: Barca’s Arthur deal for 2019

Barcelona will not complete the signing of Gremio midfielder Arthur Melo until January 2019, the Brazilian club’s president has insisted.

Romildo Bolzan Junior insisted his club were not contemplating selling the central midfielder before the agreed deadline, which comes at the end of the domestic season in Brazil.

The Catalan giants confirmed the deal was in place for the 21-year-old which would see them pay a release clause of €30m, which would rise to €39m including bonuses, after securing a €4m deposit.

“There is already a written agreement between the clubs and player,” Bolzan Junior is cited as saying by Diario Sport.

“That agreement will not be broken over the summer months, it cannot happen and there has been no interest from Barca in that.

“They do have an option to buy him, which expires on July 15, but that would be a separate agreement.”

The Brazilian midfielder enjoyed a breakthrough 2017, helping Gremio win the Copa Libertadores and reach the Club World Cup Final, where they faced Real Madrid.

He has also represented Brazil at Under-17 and Under-20 level and been called up to the senior squad several times, although without making an appearance.

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