Barcelona secures option to sign Brazilian midfielder Arthur

FILE - In this file photo dated Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2017, Arthur of Brazil's Gremio, in action during a first leg Copa Libertadores final soccer match in Porto Alegre, Brazil. Barcelona said Sunday March 11, 2018, it has reached an agreement with Brazilian club Gremio for the option to buy midfielder Arthur. (AP Photo/Wesley Santos, FILE)

BARCELONA, Spain — Barcelona says it has reached an agreement with Brazilian club Gremio for the option to buy midfielder Arthur for 30 million euros ($37 million) plus variables that could reach 9 million euros ($11 million).

Barcelona said Sunday it can exercise the option for the 21-year-old player in July.

The Spanish club says Arthur "is a talented midfielder who stands out for his passing ability," is "excellent at protecting the ball" and is "a danger close to the opponent's area."

Arthur was key for Gremio when the Brazilian team won last year's Copa Libertadores, South America's top club competition.

He has been a regular in Brazil's youth squads and has a few call-ups to the full squad.

Arthur made his first-team debut with Gremio under former Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari.

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