Rio de Janeiro: Speculation that Brazilian sensation Arthur Melo will join FC Barcelona mounted after a photo of the midfielder wearing a jersey of the Spanish football giants was leaked on the internet.
The 21-year-old has reportedly drawn interest from several European clubs, including Manchester United, after a superb season in Brazil's Gremio, reports Xinhua news agency. Just two days after helping Gremio to their third Copa Libertadores title -- South American football's top club trophy -- Melo and his agent Andre Curry met with Barcelona officials in Porto Alegre, Globo Esporte reported.
The photo, in which a beaming Melo stands alongside his father, brother, Curry and the agent's staff, was taken after successful talks on Friday, the portal said. Conscious of a growing number of clubs interested in the youngster, Gremio extended his contract until 2021 in October, stipulating a 50 million-euro buyout clause.
The former Goias Esporte youth team player was rewarded for his impressive year by being called up to Brazil's national squad for their last 2018 World Cup qualifiers in October. He is not the only Gremio player to attract the attention of European clubs. Forward Luan, who was named Copa Libertadores player of the tournament, is said to have drawn interest from Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Milan and Paris Saint-Germain.