ESPN Deportes’ Jordi Blanco has reported that Barcelona and Gremio have agreed to a deal that could be worth around €40 million for Arthur. The sum is inclusive of a €10 million performance-based incentive.
The news comes as little surprise. Barcelona has been making some serious dips into the market in the last couple of windows trying to reinvigorate their aging squad.
Barcelona has shifted to a 4-4-2 under Ernesto Valverde and a deep-lying playmaker in the mold of Arthur would add some technical support to Barcelona’s midfield.
Currently, the squad is overly reliant on Sergio Busquets to control the middle of the park with Ivan Rakitic doing a commendable job when called up to the task. The acquisition of Paulinho was expected to help create a more dynamic double-pivot but few would have expected the Brazilian to be so trigger-happy.
Arthur is more of a traditional midfielder and when provided with the right support, his passes can help in creating some great counter-attacks. The Gremio midfielder can even play as a central midfielder in the more traditional 4-3-3 which means his arrival will add to the coach’s tactical options.
But what does it mean for the current roster? Barcelona has done its best to ship away all the deadwood but there are still several names in the squad who are fighting for game time. The midfield, in particular, is crowded with players like Andre Gomes and Denis Suarez still hoping for some minutes.
Arthur’s arrival will change the scenario completely. While Barcelona has pulled the trigger on a couple of players, there are still some names that the club is struggling to part ways with.
The Brazilian's signing is almost a warning to the squad that their days are numbered.
Should Arthur come, one should expect an overhaul with several names departing for greener pastures.