Chelsea are targeting exciting Brazilian midfielder Arthur Melo, also known as simply Arthur, from Grêmio in Brazil, according to Metro.
Chelsea see Arthur as the ideal candidate to succeed Cesc Fàbregas in the long-term, however they will need to rival Barcelona who are also interested in the young Brazilian.
The 21-year old has been heavily linked with a move to the Nou Camp, with comparisons already being made with Xavi and Andrés Iniesta. Arthur was pictured wearing a Barcelona shirt and standing alongside a club representative last week, although it is still claimed that a deal has not been reached.
The player himself said;
On the Barcelona matter, they did speak with me. We had a meeting, but I want to say that there’s nothing final.
Nothing has been defined and I did not sign anything. I am a Grêmio player.
The contact with Barça has reportedly angered Grêmio, which could potentially give Chelsea the upper hand. According to the Mirror, Antonio Conte sees the player as a long-term successor for Fàbregas.
Arthur’s release clause sits at £44million, something that is affordable for the Blues. Conte is keen to bolster his squad as soon as possible, which could see the club make an attempt to sign the midfielder as early as January.