It will be hard to keep Barcelona target Arthur, admits Gremio coach Renato

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The midfielder is expected to seal a move to Camp Nou in the new year after coming to prominence in his current club's Libertadores-winning side

Gremio coach Renato Gaucho has admitted that Arthur Melo is unlikely to stay at the club beyond 2017. 

The 21-year-old midfielder was one of the stars of the Copa Libertadores for El Tricolor, helping the side take their third-ever title over Lanus. 

But those sterling displays have come at a price, as he has caught the eye of Barcelona in recent weeks. 

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And after Arthur, who will not take part in the Club World Cup due to injury, was snapped in a Barcelona jersey his coach believes his days at Gremio may be numbered. 

"The pressure has been huge, that's normal. Will he continue? Sincerely, I find that difficult to see," Renato explained to reporters.

"It makes us happy to have a player that's being watched by European sides.

"Maybe we don't have a player of his quality but we have others who can replace him. He's helped us a lot, but I think it will be hard to keep him."

Without Arthur, Gremio kick off their Club World Cup campaign in the semi-finals on December 12 with a clash against either Pachuca or Wydad Casablanca

A final against Real Madrid could be the prize for the Brazilian club, who will count on the talents of Luan for the competition even if their midfield prodigy is absent.