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The Truth Behind FC Barcelona Transfering Arthur In Exchange For Lautaro Martinez-Inter Milan

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As recent as yesterday, the latest update detailed how Inter Milan, resigned to losing the 22-year-old to the Blaugrana, have begun to make their own demands at the bargaining table.

Discarding an offer of $77m plus right back Nelson Semedo and long-term desired enforcer Arturo Vidal, they would instead prefer the quoted sum plus center-back Jean-Clair Todibo, currently on loan at Schalke 04, La Masia fruit Carles Alena, similarly at Real Betis in a temporary arrangement, and, most surprisingly,Authur Melo.

But how likely are the Catalans to part with the Brazil international?
Impressing in his breakout year at Gremio in 2017, when he won the South American equiuvalent of the Champions League, the Copa Libertadores, the playmaker was purchased for a bargain fee of $34.5m at the turn of 2018 and reported to Ernesto Valverde in the summer of that year.
A La Liga winner in his maiden campaign, Arthur fell foul of his coach for attending Neymar’s birthday party in Paris in February 2019, just days before a Clasico, and finished the 2018/2019 campaign either unfit or on the bench.

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Leading Brazil to victory in the Copa America on home soil in July, where he saw off Martinez and Lionel Messi’s Argentina in the semi-final, he had apparently impressed club officials with his new professional approach and improved physical condition.

Notching a litany of assists and goals, plus also lasting 90 minutes for the first time in his European career upon return, any progress was short lived when he again irked top brass by taking up snowboarding and obtaining a pubis knock that kept him out of starting action until February.

Now under the command of a different manager, Quique Setien is evidently a fan of “an extraordinary footballer who understands everything” and trusted him to begin Barcelona’s last three domestic matches from the offset.

SPORT finding him to be “improving his participation and contribution to the team’s game” while Barça were “slowly recovering the best version” of their charge following the 5-0 destruction of Eibar, that same publication singled Melo out for criticism in the wake of the 2-0 defeat to Real Madrid in El Clasico at the weekend.

“What a player, if matches only lasted 60 minutes!” began one scathing review of his performance. Indeed influencing the world’s biggest derby for swathes of the first half, when he had a clear run on goal in a failed one-on-one with Thibaut Courtois, and the start of the second, Arthur was again complicit in a failure to deal with the press and the midfield being overrun.

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Continuing a running theme flowing through road losses to Granada and Valencia, his first nod under Setien where Barça were also humbled 2-0 at the Mestalla and he was consequently dropped from the line-up, it is this factor on the pitch that might push a sale whether Arthur was previously considered key to the club’s future or not.

Off it, in terms of finances, his current value, if anything close to the $77mn listed on Transfermarkt, could go some way towards reducing that of Martinez, who is available for $124mn over a unique two week period in July.

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Perhaps if Alena and Todibo are thrown in to cover the remaining $47mn, not one dollar needs to change hands in a straight three-for-one swap, and this would particularly suit a cash-strapped Barça who also have eyes for a $190-200mn reuinion with Neymar.

The landing of the two fancied stars considered key to keeping Messi happy, the planned purchases of Juan Sforza from his boyhood club Newell’s Old Boys and Ferran Torres from Valencia in the centre of the park, to join Matheus Fernandes bought in February, means that there will be long-term reinforcements in Arthur’s area of the park.

Frenkie de Jong already on the books, it is impossible to rule out Barça being forced into submission when the injury-invoked absence of Luis Suarez has highlighted an obvious need for a striker to succeed the Uruguayan.

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