• 21-year-old midfielder will continue at the Brazilian side until at least the summer.
  • Real Madrid, Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain were also said to be interested in his signing.

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Gremio starlet Arthur Melo is said to be "very close" to completing his proposed transfer to Barcelona ahead of the summer transfer window.

Real Madrid, Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain have also been linked with the Brazilian midfielder in recent times but Mundo Deportivo says that the Catalans are set to win the race in a deal worth around €30m (£26.3m, $37.3m).

The Spanish publication says that sources from within Arthur's entourage "have admitted to them that the agreement between the clubs is almost done" with the player expected to continue at Gremio until at least the summer.

Sport is backing those claims and says the 21-year-old talented midfielder "is very close" to joining Barcelona after the clubs made a significant breakthrough in negotiations in the last 24 hours.

However, the other Catatan publication claims that the agreement is still not done with Gremio still holding out for €36m.

Barcelona planned to spend €30m but the Brazilian outfit only own 60% of Arthur's rights and are demanding a little bit more to sanction the move.

One way or another, both Spanish publications understand that the deal will be completed soon as the player is determined to make the move to the Nou Camp.

Last week, Mundo Deportivo reported that Barcelona sent representative Andre Cury to Brazil to step up the negotiations with Arthur's side, having received the green light from the player to make the move to Ernesto Valverde's side.

Over the weekend, Gremio executive football director André Zanotta confirmed that the Catalans had made a formal approach to complete his signing ahead of the summer transfer window.

"There has been a formal contact and we're going to continue the conversations," Zanotta said.

"We have our conditions. I do not want to give more details, it's a conversation that has just started and it's still going to drag on. Arthur's transfer will not take place before January 31. If the negotiations advance it will not be in the next few days, it will drag on for a few more weeks."

The La Liga giants cannot registered the coveted midfielder this month as Valverde already has the maximum number of non-EU players in his squad in the form of Philippe Coutinho, Yerry Mina and Paulinho.

But Mundo Deportivo says that they have decided to step up negotiations now in order to see off competition from other suitors, with Real Madrid, Chelsea and PSG also keen on his signing.

The latest reports from Spain suggest that Barcelona's deal to sign him ahead of the summer is closer than ever but Valverde will have to decide at the end of the season whether to keep him at the Nou Camp or send him on loan somewhere else to continue his development during the 2018-2019 campaign.

Arthur is said to be ready to join Barcelona ahead of the 2018-2019 season. Getty