Barcelona bring forward move for Brazilian midfielder Arthur from Gremio to this summer

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Barcelona are set to announce Arthur as their first signing of the summer, after the Gremio midfielder announced he will join the club this month.

The Spanish giants had earlier agreed for the transfer to take place in January, although Andres Iniesta‘s departure has opened up a space in midfield.

The clubs had agreed upon a €30 million fee with an additional €9m potentially due in add-ons earlier, but now Barca have had to pay an additional fee so as to make the switch happen six months early.

In a press conference on Friday, Arthur said, “Barcelona have asked to bring my arrival forward to this summer.

“I did not participate in the negotiations, nor did I participate directly in my transfer – it has been a matter between the two clubs.

“I will probably travel to Barcelona this weekend. There are still details [to be finalised] but I’m very happy to be able to wear the shirt of the club I have always dreamed of playing for, the biggest club in the world.

“I have been told wonderful things about the club, the city and the fans. I have high expectations about the move.”

Arthur will join Brazilian countrymen Philippe Coutinho and Paulinho at the Camp Nou, although there have been rumours of an offer for the latter from China.

The 21-year-old was emotional at the time of announcing his decision and said he will be back to Gremio one day.

“I have spent seven years fighting for Gremio and the Arena Gremio is one of the places where I most like to be,” he added. “I am eternally grateful to everyone at Gremio.

“This is a see you later rather than a goodbye. I hope to come back one day. I’m very proud to leave the club through the front door.”

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Barcelona deny Sandro Rosell bought illegal liver for Eric Abidal

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Spanish giants Barcelona have dismissed reports that suggested they illegally bought a transplant liver for their former defender Eric Abidal.

“FC Barcelona roundly deny any irregularity in the matter,” the club said in a statement on their website.

Abidal, who is now a sporting director at Barca, received a liver transplant in April 2012 at the Hospital Clinic in Barcelona, eventually returning to the game a year later before retirement in 2014.

According to El Confidencial, a telephonic conversation that involved former club president Sandro Rosell was tapped and it suggested that the club had illegally acquired a liver for the player.

Meanwhile, Rossell is due to face trial on money laundering charges in connection with Brazilian TV rights sales, and was also investigated for his part in the deal which brought Brazilian superstar Neymar to Barcelona.

A Barcelona court said it had decided not to proceed with a crime of organ trafficking after having investigated the case for more than a year and not finding any evidence.

“The club are saddened by the lack of rigour in the spreading of such information about such a sensitive issue,” said the Barcelona statement.

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Jordi Alba wants to remain at Barcelona for the 'rest of his life'

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No plans to move: Jordi Alba

Jordi Alba has played down speculation linking him with a move to the Premier League, insisting he would remain at Barcelona for the rest of his life if it was up to him.

The 29-year-old left-back has been touted a possible transfer target for the likes of Manchester United, Chelsea and, most recently, Tottenham this summer.

However, while he admits the decision about his future is not solely down to him, the Spain international – who in 2015 signed a five-year contract with Barca that included a 150 million Euros buy-out clause – does not see himself leaving the LaLiga champions.

“I’m very happy at Barca. If it depended on me, I would stay at Barcelona my whole life,” Alba said at a Spain press conference at the World Cup, as reported by www.sport.es.

“But it doesn’t depend only on me, it’s also what the club wants. It also depends on my performances, which this season have been very good, but I don’t see myself away from Barca.”

Alba has helped Barca lift 13 trophies since moving to the Nou Camp from Valencia in 2012, including winning LaLiga four times, as well as four Copa del Reys, the Champions League and FIFA Club World Cup.

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