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Barcelona agree deal for Brazilian midfielder Arthur: reports

RIO DE JANEIRO, March 9 (BSS/Xinhua) -- Barcelona have struck a deal to sign highly rated midfielder Arthur from Brazilian club Gremio, according to widespread media reports on Thursday.

The Catalan club agreed to pay 30 million euros for the 21-year-old with a further 10 million euros in add-ons, Brazil's Globo Esporte quoted Gremio president Romildo Bolzan as saying.

Bolzan told reporters on Wednesday that negotiations between the parties were "reaching the final phase".

The deal will see Arthur join the current La Liga leaders in January next year on a five-year contract.

Arthur has been likened to Barcelona great Xavi Hernandez for his calmness in possession and crisp passing.

He has also been linked with Real Madrid, Manchester City, Chelsea and Monaco after a sublime 2017 in which he helped Gremio win the Copa Libertadores, South America's top club competition.

The former Goias youth-team player earned his first call-up to Brazil's national squad last October.