Barcelona have long since been linked with Arthur but with their option to buy the Gremio star set at €35 million, the club’s hierarchy are having second thoughts.
Andres Iniesta has announced that he will be leaving Camp Nou at the end of the season and that means the Catalans have a spot open in midfield.
There’s certainly no replacing the iconic Spaniard but Arthur was expected to come in and help fill the void.
Barcelona appear to be on the look out for alternatives to the Brazilian though and there are some affordable candidates around.
Barca reportedly sent scouts to watch Fabian Ruiz in Real Betis’ 0-0 draw with Atletico Madrid as they step up their interest in the Spain U21 international.
The creative midfielder has been central to Betis’ impressive La Liga campaign, leading them to fifth in the table with four games remaining, providing six assists and two goals along the way.
Following the departure of Dani Ceballos to Real Madrid last summer, Ruiz has established himself in an entertaining Betis side.
His composure on the ball and range of passing are among his standout qualities and should hold him in good stead at Barca.
At just 22, he would be an investment for the future.
JEAN MICHAEL SERI
It seemed as if Jean Michael Seri was destined to be a Barcelona player ahead of this season but the deal with Nice mysteriously broke down.
Some reports suggest that Barca were the ones who pulled the plug at the last minute for tactical reasons while others claim it was Nice who demanded more money at the eleventh hour.
Either way, it doesn’t change the fact that he would be a worthwhile addition to the Blaugrana squad. While he’s not a renowned pass-master, he’s got the energy and skill to create openings.
The 26-year-old is strong, a good dribbler and known for his driving runs forward. He’s been a mainstay in Nice’s starting XI during his three seasons with the Ligue 1 outfit.
Do Barca dare dive back into negotiations with Nice though?
This one’s out of left field, the wildcard in the mix no doubt. Jack Wilshere‘s injury woes are well documented but at his best, he can deliver at the highest level.
In fact, Barcelona have already seen the Englishman in his element, but that was a while ago. Back in 2011, he put in a phenomenal display against an all-conquering Barca team as Arsenal secured a 2-1 victory.
He returned to fitness midway through this season and began get back to his best for a couple of months, only to be struck down by injury again.
However, even though it feels like he’s been around forever, Wilshere is only 26 years old. He’s available on a free transfer this summer and may be worth a gamble.
Barcelona aren’t averse to taking a punt on an injury-plagued player, Wilshere’s former Arsenal team-mate Thomas Vermaelen a case in point.
Stuart Appleby and the rest of the Sport360 team are in place to provide you with the latest news, comment and analysis on all things Barcelona.
Tell us your thoughts on what’s happening by tweeting @Sport360.
7.10pm: Barca’s list of Arthur alternatives
Brendon Netto looks at three alternatives to Arthur Barcelona may consider to bolster their midfield this summer.
The Catalans appear to be on the look out for cheaper options to the Brazilian and there are some candidates around.
5:12pm: Barcelona on the brink of title
Find out more on how Barca can secure the La Liga crown tomorrow as they face Deportivo at the Riazor.
3:16pm: Watch the great man himself
It’s starting to sink in that we will only see Andres Iniesta in a Barcelona shirt for a couple more weeks at least.
What better way to get over news of his departure than to watch the great man himself in action.
12:36pm: Barca won’t bow to Umtiti’s contract demands
Barcelona club president Josep Maria Bartomeu has revealed that the club is keen on extending defender Samuel Umtiti‘s contract but not at any cost.
12:03pm: Antoine Griezmann confirms talks under way over his future
The Atletico Madrid star has long been linked with a move to Barcelona and after scoring in the 1-1 Europa League semi-final first-leg tie with Arsenal, the 27-year-old revealed he is talking to the club about his future.
Hear more from the Frenchman on his much-discussed future.
10:55am: Revealed – the reason why Messi didn’t attend Iniesta farewell
Barcelona legend Lionel Messi and hitman Luis Suarez missed Andres Iniesta‘s emotional press conference on Friday, in which the cult hero midfield maestro confirmed he would be leaving Blaugrana at the end of the season.
Find out why the Argentine ace and Uruguayan were’t there when their long-term team-mate made the most difficult decision of his career.
The Spanish midfielder’s impact in Spanish football cannot be measured with just stats, although he has been part of a rich history at Barca having won 31 trophies during his time.
Iniesta, who announced his exit on Friday in an emotional press conference, has had an eventful career with Blaugrana, right from his debut to winning the treble and then of course scoring the winner in the 2010 World Cup final for Spain.
As he signs off, we take a look at some of the highlights from what has been a memorable journey.