Arthur
Arthur Melo is a transfer target for Barcelona and Real Madrid Getty

Barcelona are close to finalising a deal for highly rated Gremio midfielder Arthur Melo, with the club's South American representative Andre Cury already in Brazil.

Despite signing Philippe Coutinho and Yerry Mina this month already, Barcelona are looking to add one more signing to their ranks with the 21-year-old Brazilian, who was impressive during Gremio's Copa Libertadores win last season.

Linked with the likes of Manchester United, Chelsea and Real Madrid as well, Arthur is virtually set for a move to the Camp Nou, according to Marca, with his desire to play for the La Liga leaders being a huge factor.

It was previously reported by Mundo Deportivo that Barcelona "already have an agreement" in place for the coveted midfielder, with Cury taking a flight to Porto Alegre last week to sort out the final details with the Brazilian club.

Gremio president Romildo Bolzan has remained firm on his stance that the club would not sell Arthur for less than his €50m (£44m, $62m) release clause.

Marca, however, report that a deal is expected to be finalised for a lower fee before Wednesday, 31 January, as Barcelona will sign Arthur and immediately send him back on loan to Gremio. The Brazilian is likely to officially join La Blaugrana this summer or in the summer of 2019.

It is also ideal for Ernesto Valverde's side as he is currently stacked with midfield options with the likes of Sergio Busquets, Ivan Rakitic, Andres Iniesta, Paulinho, Coutinho, Andre Gomes, Denis Suarez and Sergi Roberto all at his disposal.

In addition, the club have exhausted their quota for non-EU players in their squad.

Arthur is a creative midfielder viewed in the same mould as Iniesta and Xavi Hernandez. He was notably pictured wearing a Barcelona jersey alongside club technical secretary Robert Fernandez back in November during the two-legged Copa Libertadores final between Gremio and Lanus.