Gremio's Arthur refutes 'agreement' reports after Barcelona photo

Gremio star Arthur was pictured meeting Barcelona officials and wearing their jersey, but he insists there were no contract negotiations.

Highly rated Gremio midfielder Arthur denied reports that he has agreed a deal with Barcelona after he was photographed meeting with representatives of the Catalan club.

The 21-year-old Brazilian has established himself as a key player at the Porto Alegre club, securing a place in their midfield this year and making 38 domestic appearances.

On top of that, he has helped Gremio to the 2017 Copa Libertadores title, playing in both legs as they beat Lanus of Argentina 3-1 on aggregate at the end of November.

He was then pictured a few days later wearing a Barcelona jersey next to sporting director Robert Fernandez, a move which reportedly angered Gremio.

Barca are also understood to have apologised to the Brazilian club for the photo, though Arthur - who was named in the Brasileiro team of the season - himself insists that it was simply a meeting for the parties to get to know each other, adamant that no deal was discussed.

He told Esporte Interativo: "On the Barcelona issue, they really talked to me. We had a meeting, but I want to clarify that we have nothing agreed or defined.

"It's a club that I admire a lot. It was only a first contact for them to know my family and for me to meet them, let's take it easy. There is nothing definite, but we did have a conversation.

"I'm a Gremio player. My agent did not negotiate any contract. That did not happen.

"It has to be good for me and good for Gremio, which is my home where everything started. I arrived as a 14-year-old, I am a Gremista at heart – my blood is blue."