Barcelona-bound midfielder Arthur Melo will not leave before the Brazilian season ends in December, Gremio’s president has insisted.
In March, Barca agreed a purchase option to acquire Arthur from Gremio this July in a deal which could cost up to €39 million.
Despite Barcelona’s initial plans to let Arthur stay in Brazil until January 2019, recent reports have suggested the Catalans could attempt to bring him to Camp Nou this summer following Andres Iniesta’s transfer to Vissel Kobe and with Andre Gomes expected to be sold.
However, Gremio’s president Romildo Bolzan Junior says he has not had any contact from the Catalan club about Arthur’s immediate services.
“There’s no chance that Arthur leaves the club in the coming months because it’s already written down, there’s a contract signed and that is not a possibility,” he said, according to Sport.
“Barcelona have never brought to the table any interest in signing Arthur halfway through the [Brazilian] season. The only right that Barca have is an option to buy him, in which case they must do the transaction before July 15.”
Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu said earlier this this week that his club would act on the 21-year-old when the coaching staff found it appropriate.
“He’s a footballer for whom we have a purchase option and, when the coaches believe he should come, we will execute this option,” Bartomeu said.
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