Arthur Melo
Arthur has a £44m release clause at Gremio. Getty

Barcelona have been given fresh hope in their pursuit of Arthur Melo with Gremio admitting that they are "open" to having talks with the La Liga giants over the future of the Brazilian midfielder ahead of the upcoming January transfer window.

Arthur, 21, has been linked with a move to the Nou Camp since it emerged that Barcelona technical secretary Robert Fernandez travelled to South America to watch him in action during the two-legged Copa Libertadores final between Gremio and Lanus.

That speculation swelled after a photograph of the midfielder wearing a Barcelona shirt alongside Fernandez was leaked through social media.

The La Liga giants were forced to issue an apology after Gremio president Romildo Bolzan threatened them with legal action.

It was said that the picture could also compromise any deal between the clubs after Bolzan warned that Gremio would demand Arthur's full €50m (£44m, $59m) release clause should Barcelona or any other suitor firm up their interest in the player.

But Gremio executive football director André Zanotta has now revealed that two parties have resolved their differences and that the Brazilian outfit will be "open to listen" to Barcelona if they want to sign the 21-year-old starlet.

Zanotta said that Gremio's intention is to keep the midfielder but he concedes that they might need to cash in on with the player if Barcelona come knocking with a tempting offer.

Pressed whether Gremio would need to negotiate the sale of some players to balance their books, Zanotta said to Globo Esporte: "Obviously the financial situation is far from comfortable. But we have to be careful not to compromise out sporting project. Of course we would like to keep Arthur until 2021 or more and [Gremio other mahor star] Luan until 2020 or more. But they are two of the most valuable and coveted players in Brazil.

"There is nothing concrete yet but there have been a lot of speculations. Many times their desire is to follow their career in Europe and you have to respect that too. If you get a proposal that fits Grêmio and the footballer we will talk. We don't necessarily have to do it right now [in the January window].

"They admitted that they made a mistake, they know it was something that can't do," he added when asked if the leaked picture of Arthur with the Barcelona shirt could complicate future talks. "But we do not have to create any kind of friction with Barcelona. They called us and they admitted the mistake.

They are a giant club and it is always good to maintain [a good] relationship. Obviously, our conversation was super friendly, if they have an interest and want to step up the interest [towards securing a potential deal] they will come to us directly. We are open to talks. We are not selling the player but if we get a proposal that interests us, which is also good for the player, we will talk."