Barcelona and Real Madrid have both been linked with some big moves ahead of the summer transfer window, but it’s mixed news for the two giants.
Spanish football expert Guillem Balague has been discussing the latest speculation, and he has revealed that the Catalan giants are very close to tying up a deal for Gremio midfielder Arthur Melo.
The 21-year-old has impressed in his homeland, but with Barca filling up their non-EU quota with the January signings of Philippe Coutinho and Yerry Mina, he won’t be able to join straight away.
“It’s not a done deal but it’s very close,” Balague told Sky Sports. “It won’t be the 50m euros that Gremio are asking for and it won’t be the 30m that Barcelona are offering. It will be in between, but quite clearly Arthur is willing to go to Barcelona and Gremio are willing to sell.”
It’s a sensible addition for Ernesto Valverde, as he’ll need long-term options in midfield, while it may be a good idea to send Arthur out on loan in Europe first to acclimatise and prepare for life at the Nou Camp.
Meanwhile, Real Madrid have also been clarification over which goalkeeper they will be pursuing this summer it seems, as they’ve reportedly baulked at the asking price for Man Utd star David De Gea, with the Red Devils said to be looking for around €100m.
With Los Blancos out of the picture, that could now push Chelsea shot-stopper Thibaut Courtois closer to the Bernabeu, as Balague believes that while De Gea could now pen a new contract at Old Trafford, the Belgian international is still keen on a return to the Spanish capital.
“Real Madrid found out that De Gea would cost about 100m euros. They said that was far too expensive, which was their way of cleaning their hands and saying ‘OK, if you are going to renew then renew’. So De Gea is close to extending his contract with Manchester United and right now Real Madrid are not going to get in the way.
“He (Courtois) just wants Real Madrid to make the next step and talk to Chelsea for next season. Courtois would love to go to Real Madrid next season and Chelsea are aware of that. So the De Gea situation leaves him in good position for that to happen.”