Barcelona have made their first signing of the summer, completing a deal for Brazilian midfielder, Arthur Melo, from Gremio on a six-year contract.
Barca and Gremio had originally agreed for a deal to be done next January, but the transfer has now been fast-tracked.
The decisions of Andres Iniesta and Paulinho to leave the club opened up a space in midfield. In an official statement, the LaLiga champions said the transfer fee for the 21-year-old was €31 million, with €9m more in potential bonuses.
“The player will sign a contract with the club for the following six seasons, until the end of the 2023-24 campaign,” the statement said. It is being reported that Barca had to pay an additional fee of about €1m, in order to complete the transfer six months early.
“Barcelona have asked to bring my arrival forward to this summer,” Arthur explained in a news conference on Friday.
“I did not participate in the negotiations, nor did I participate directly in my transfer – it has been a matter between the two clubs.
“I will probably travel to Barcelona this weekend. There are still details [to be finalised] but I’m very happy to be able to wear the shirt of the club I have always dreamed of playing for, the biggest club in the world.
“I have been told wonderful things about the club, the city and the fans. I have high expectations about the move.”
Arthur joined Gremio in 2010 as a teenager and played a key part in their Copa Libertadores triumph last season.