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Transfer Rater: Balotelli to West Ham

Football Whispers
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Arthur nervous as Barcelona-Gremio transfer talks continue

Arthur Melo has said he is nervously awaiting the outcome of this week's transfer negotiations between Gremio and Barcelona.

Representatives of Brazilian club Gremio flew to Barcelona on Monday with the aim of finalising a deal for Arthur, who was photographed with Barca sporting director Robert Fernandez last year.

Mundo Deportivo reported that a transfer worth around €30 million, which would see Arthur move next January, was close to completion with official confirmation expected as early as this week.

"Of course I am nervous," Arthur said when asked about his feelings.

"It's normal to feel anxiety -- this is a really important moment. But between me, Gremio and Barcelona, I am sure that there's going to be an agreement which benefits everyone, that's the important thing.

"I speak daily with my agent and with everyone at Gremio, but I still don't know the result of the negotiations."

Arthur's move to Barcelona could be confirmed next week.

Barca have been tracking Arthur since last year, when he helped Gremio to their first Copa Libertadores trophy since 1995, and opened talks over a potential transfer in December.

Arthur, 21, has previously spoken of his desire to move to the La Liga leaders and said he was thinking about starting a Spanish language course.

However, he said that until the deal was completed he would hold off on making plans out of respect for Gremio, whom he joined as a 13-year-old in 2010.

"I've not started a course yet because there's nothing signed," he added. "Until Gremio say there's a good deal for them and for me, I will remain focused on my current team.

"I am grateful to Gremio because they invested and bet on me, so with my transfer I feel obliged to help them with their financial difficulties. I have insisted that Gremio be well remunerated.

"If everything goes through, it will be good for Gremio and everyone involved."

Gremio vice-president Odorico Roman revealed in December that Inter and Atletico Madrid had also expressed an interest in signing Arthur, prompting Barca to accelerate their move.

Arthur has not yet been capped by Brazil but was called up by Tite at the end of last year and is hopeful of being included in the World Cup squad.

Samuel Marsden covers Barcelona for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @SamuelMarsden.

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