Date published: Saturday 7th July 2018 2:40
Barcelona are ready to sign Gremio midfielder Arthur Melo this summer, which will take the La Liga club over their EU quota limit.
Melo has confirmed his move to Barca is being fast-tracked after the original deal was set to go through in January 2019 – after the Brazilian season had finished.
Now though Melo, who will now cost in excess of the €30m, plus €9m in add-ons originally quoted, has told a press conference he is heading to Spain earlier than expected.
“Barcelona have asked to bring my arrival forward to this summer,” said Arthur.
“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.”
His imminent arrival at the Camp Nou means Barcelona are oversubscribed on their quota of non-EU players.
Currently Philippe Coutinho, Paulinho and Liverpool target Yerry Mina fill the three spots, although Barca are apparently trying to get Coutinho a Portuguese through his wife.
If that fails then Barca will have to offload either Mina or Paulinho, who has said he is set to hold talks with Barca after his World Cup ended with Brazil.
“I’m going to Barcelona to talk to my representative about this matter,” said Paulinho. “I have an offer from China and another from another club, although it is not certain that I will go. We have to talk.”
Meanwhile, Liverpool and Everton have been linked with permanent and loan deals for Colombia centre-back Mina.
In May AS cited journalist Ignacio Miguelez, who told the Spanish program El Chiringuito that Barca were keen for Mina to get some experience in Europe and that Liverpool would be his destination for next season.
Fotomac have since reported that Liverpool have registered their interest in the centre-back, who only joined Barcelona in January from Brazilian side Palmeiras.
The Turkish outlet suggested Liverpool are trying to hijack Fenerbahce’s move for the player, who could move on this summer.
“I don’t need to prove anything to anyone,” said Mina.
“In my head right now, I am thinking about returning to Barca. Now’s not the moment to talk about my future, but the World Cup has helped me rediscover myself and reaffirm myself as a footballer.
“God gave me my talent. What I need is to always play to the best of my ability and enjoy my football. After that, I’m always calm and I trust God.”