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Barcelona formalizes Arthur purchase which could reach $47m

Gremio v Sao Paulo - Brasileirao Series A 2017

PORTO ALEGRE, BRAZIL - NOVEMBER 15: Arthur of Gremio battles for the ball against Petros of Sao Paulo during the match between Gremio and Sao Paulo as part of the Brasileirao Series A 2017, at Arena do Gremio on November 15, 2017, in Porto Alegre, Brazil. (Photo by Lucas Uebel/Getty Images)

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Barcelona is making its first purchase of the summer, and it’s an exciting one (even if we’ve known it was likely for some time).

Arthur Melo is coming to the Camp Nou from Gremio in Brazil, where the 21-year-old has won the Copa Libertadores and is a box-to-box talent who can operate in defensive or attacking functions.

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You can call him just Arthur, if you like.

The cost is approximately $36 million with a potential $11 million in incentives.

Having sent Paulinho on loan to Guangzhou Evergrande and Gerard Deulofeu to Watford while losing Andres Iniesta on a free transfer to Vissel Kobe, there are openings in Barca’s set-up.

According to a Barca release:

Arthur likes playing with quick touches and short, triangulating passes involving his teammates. 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.

Arthur has been on the Brasileirao’s top-rated players for two seasons and represents an interesting piece to Barcelona’s long-term puzzle. We expect we’ll be hearing plenty from him.

Follow @NicholasMendola