Barcelona wrap up €40m Arthur deal

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The midfielder has completed his long-awaited move to Camp Nou, with a €400m release clause put on his head

Barcelona have announced the €40 million signing of Arthur (£35m/$47m), the Gremio midfielder agreeing an immediate move to Camp Nou on a six-year deal.

The Catalans will pay €31m (£27m/$36m) up front for the Brazilian, who has a buyout clause of €400m (£355m/$470m) in his contract.

The 21-year-old arrives at the Catalan club with big shoes to fill as he is seen as the long-term heir to Andres Iniesta, who departed the club this summer.

Nevertheless, Gremio had been insistent that they would be able to hold onto the youngster after they had initially thrashed out terms with Barca in March over a move that was expected to take place in January 2019.

Iniesta's exit seemed to speed up the whole process, though, and on Saturday the player revealed that he would move to Spain sooner than anticipated.

Barcelona have now confirmed that news on their official website.

They clearly expect that he will be able to fit into the club's tiki-taka tradition seamlessly, although express that his ability to play more directly could suit the style of head coach Ernesto Valverde.

"Arthur likes playing with quick touches and short, triangulating passes involving his team-mates," a statement on their official site reads. "One of his virtues is his ability to get open, which makes him a dangerous right-footed threat near the penalty area.

"At 172 cm tall (5 ft 8 in), Arthur also stands for his skill at protecting the ball and his eagerness to play vertically up the field."

He made his Gremio debut in 2016 but began to establish himself in the first team the following year, when he played 27 league matches.

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So rapidly did he impress that he was called up to the senior Brazil squad for a World Cup qualifier later that same year, although he never appeared on the field and has yet to make his debut for the Selecao, having been overlooked for Russia 2018 selection.

Barcelona have announced that he will join their squad immediately, with his presentation to take place shortly. 

He is their first major signing of the summer transfer window, with Iniesta, Gerard Deulofeu and Paulinho all having departed the club.

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