Chelsea are interested in signing Gremio midfield star Arthur.
The 21-year old has been linked with a move to Barcelona for months now and is seen as a possible long term replacement for Chelsea’s Spanish midfield maestro, Cesc Fabregas.
Arthur who has forced his way into Brazil’s National team this season ahead of the FIFA world cup helped his club side Gremio to their first Copa Libertadores title in 22 years with victory over Argentinian club side Lanus.
Arthur (full name, Arthur Henrique Ramos de Oliviera Melo), is a dynamic and creative box-to-box midfielder. He contributes both offensively and defensively to his team and so has been regarded as a complete midfield player.
Barcelona are said to have angered Gremio with their chase of the Brazilian in recent weeks, with the Brazilian club stating their unwillingness to carry out a deal with the La Liga giants. Gremio vice-president Odorico Ramon has confirmed interest for Arthur from other sides in Europe and a ₤44 million release clause in his contract.
This fee could prove to be a bargain for a player who has garnered rave reviews and widespread comparisons with Barcelona legends Xavi and Andres Iniesta. Gremio’s apparent anger at the La Liga leaders could possibly play into the hands of Chelsea, who as stated earlier see Arthur as a long term replacement for Fabregas.
Fabregas has found his way back to the starting eleven this season at Chelsea but with only a year and a half remaining in his current contract, it is left to be seen if a new deal is on the horizon.