By 90Min
April 25, 2018

Barcelona are reportedly having second thoughts about completing the signing of Gremio's Arthur, with concerns surrounding the physical stature of the 21-year-old.

It was believed that the attacking midfielder had agreed to join the Catalan side in March, however, according to Mundo Deportivo, despite having paid an initial €4m to have the first option to sign him, the club are undecided as to whether they are to pay the subsequent €26m in order to complete the deal.

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The issue surrounding the Arthur deal is believed to be regarding his height. Standing at 5'6", officials at the club would prefer to sign a tall, physical midfielder, similar to the likes of Ivan Rakitic and Paulinho in recent seasons. 

Ernesto Valverde's side have until 15th July to make up their mind regarding Arthur, although the Spanish publication believe the club have other midfield targets they can pursue.

Ajax pair Frenkie de Jong and Donny van de Beek are two names that have been linked with Barcelona, as the likes of Andres Iniesta and Andre Gomes are expected to leave the Nou Camp at the end of the season.

The hesitancy surrounding Arthur's move suggests that La Liga giants are at a crossroads regarding the direction they wish to take, whether they continue to promote technically gifted midfielders similar to the likes of Xavi and Iniesta, or head towards a more hard-working, industrious midfield. 

Arthur came to prominence after he enjoyed a promising breakthrough season in 2017, helping Gremio secure their first Copa Libertadores title since 1995, although his expected move to Spain now appears to be hanging in the balance. 

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