Barcelona Look to Complete the Signing of Brazilian Youngster Arthur From Gremio

Barcelona are looking to complete the transfer of Arthur from Gremio after a senior official met with the player in Brazil.

The club’s technical secretary Robert Fernandez recently met and dined with Arthur ahead of his transfer to the Nou Camp. Fernandez is understood to have been a long-term admirer of the player after watching him in the final of the Copa Libertadores.

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Mundo Deportivo report that the player is keen on a move to Barcelona, however, there is still interest from other giants of European football such as Real Madrid and Chelsea.

Arthur is reported to have a release clause of €50m but the Catalan club are hoping to pay only half of that fee in exchange for Barcelona allowing the player to stay at Gremio for the rest of the season, a situation which is understood to be appealing to the Brazilian side.

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The Primera Division leaders are willing to wait to sign Arthur as they are nearing their maximum limit for non-EU citizens. Mundo Deportivo report that Plan A for Barcelona is to sign Coutinho in January and then let Arthur link up with the club at the end of the season, once they are able to reduce the number of non-EU citizens in the squad.

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Atletico Madrid CEO Confirms Star Man Will Not Be Sold in January Window Despite Barcelona Links

?Atletico Madrid have no intention of selling Antoine Griezmann during the January transfer window, the club’s CEO has revealed.

Griezmann has been heavily linked with both Manchester United and Barcelona since the start of the season, but Atletico are unsurprisingly keen to hang onto their prised asset.

?The Independent quote Atletico CEO Miguel Angel Gil Marin as telling Spanish TV:  “It is impossible that he will leave this team before the summer.”

Atletico will have Diego Costa available in January following the club’s transfer ban, and Marin is keen to see the striker paired with Griezmann.

He said: “We made a great effort to join Griezmann and Diego Costa and I think that it is going to be really good for both of them to play together. It is going to be very positive for Atlético as well as for the manager. Until 1 July his (Griezmann) clause is €200m.”

Atletico will continue to fight to keep hold of Griezmann during the summer window, when the Frenchman’s buyout clause halves, with Marin going onto to say: “Atlético do not want to sell him neither now nor in summer.

“He is a very important player for us, who has grown up with us as we have done with him. Our intention is to keep growing together. I would really like him to continue with us.”

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Though Atletico are currently second only to Barcelona as La Liga enters it’s winter break, Griezmann’s performances have been less prolific than in previous seasons, the attacker has scored just seven goals in twenty appearances in all competitions this season.

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‘You Didn’t Hear it From Me!’: Roma Legend Totti Makes His Pick Between Ronaldo & Messi

AS Roma legend Francesco Totti has joined the world’s greatest debate and tossed in his two cents.

The Italian, who retired from football after a remarkable 25-year career with the aforementioned outfit, spoke during the International Sports Conference in Dubai, lending his opinion on the changes in football.

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“Football has changed profoundly between my time and now,” he said, via Mundo Deportivo. “I prefer the romantic football of before, now everything is a matter of business.

“There are players like [Cristiano] Ronaldo and Neymar, but Neymar is an example of this exaggerated price, it is too much to pay 220 million euros for a player. This goes beyond reality.”

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Totti also said who he thinks is better when it comes to Ronaldo and arch-rival Lionel Messi. The Portuguese star was named the Best FIFA Men’s Player for 2017, also winning the Ballon d’Or this year. But the former midfielder picked Messi as the best player in the world, adding a snide remark as well.

“Messi is number one,” he said. “But do not tell Cristiano!”

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Asocial: Why Sergio Busquets Is Probably the Most Old-School Star Footballer on the Planet

?It’s hard to find anyone without a social media profile in today’s world, let alone a professional footballer – one who plays for the biggest teams in the world at that.

But as it so happens, Barcelona midfielder Sergio Busquets is that guy.

According to ?Sport’s Ivan San Antonio, the Spanish star does not even like sending WhatsApp messages as he prefers to call people directly instead.

Busquets is said to always keep his cell phone on silent and tucked away in his pocket, focusing on his immediate company and making time for the people who aren’t around by use of said device later on.

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As a result, he’s the ‘odd one out’ in the Barca dressing room, but he doesn’t seem to mind at all, despite losing out on the commercial incentives star players take advantage of by use of their pages.

The player has no Facebook, Twitter or Instagram profile, leaving Google as one of the only avenues via which he can be sought. 

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“If it was up to me, I’d get rid of Twitter to stop the fake profiles and people saying and doing what they want,” he said El Larguero on Cadena Ser some time ago.

So not only is he uninterested in such platforms, he seems to actually detest them. 

Can a guy be more old-school than that without actually being old?

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Neymar & Gerard Pique Reveal Their Earliest World Cup Memories in Candid Chat

?Neymar and Gerard Pique have opened up about their earliest memories of watching the World Cup in their native Brazil and Spain.

In a wide-ranging interview, the former Barcelona teammates sat down with the ?Players’ Tribune to hold a lengthy personal chat on a number of topics ranging from Neymar’s time with current side Paris Saint-Germain and their hopes for the 2018 World Cup in Russia next summer.

Pique, who spent much of the talk interviewing Neymar, asked his former  teammate about what he remembers from the first encounter he had with the prestigious international tournament and also offered up his own memories of watching games on TV.

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The centre-back said: “I … damn … ’94 … (Mauro) Tassotti elbowing Luis Enrique — our buddy Enrique — in the ’94 World Cup in the United States in the quarterfinals, and Spain getting eliminated 2–1 against Italy, and I remember Luis Enrique’s shirt, which was the white national team shirt, all wet in blood. 

“That’s my first memory. I remember being at home with all my family in Blanes on the Costa Brava — that was a summer house we had there — and it made a huge impact. It was the first image I remember from a World Cup.”

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Neymar replied: “Yeah, mine is from the ’94, too. But of Brazil. 

“Although, I was two years old, I think my first memory was on the TV, watching on TV and Romário scoring the goals, one goal that … that Romário scored against Holland I remember, that Bebeto crosses, and he takes first time, you know, and it’s a ‘golazo.’ 

“That’s the first one. And the second is from 2002. I watched the whole tournament and remember everything… including Ronaldo.”

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