Match 29
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South Korea
Match 28
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Match 27
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12:00 PM UTC Jun 24, 2018
Match 30
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3:00 PM UTC Jun 24, 2018
Match 32
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6:00 PM UTC Jun 24, 2018
Match 31
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Transfer Rater: Luka Modric to Tottenham

Football Whispers

Barcelona called to reassure me over transfer - Arthur

Thousands of Barcelona fans lined the streets in Catalonia on Monday to celebrate the club's 25th La Liga title and 30th Copa del Rey victory.
The ESPN FC crew explain why Barcelona's La Liga title triumph is especially significant, given their 'roller coaster of a season' so far.

Arthur Melo says Barcelona have phoned to reassure him his move to Camp Nou is still on after reports claimed they may pull out of the deal.

Barca reached an agreement with Gremio earlier this year on an option to sign the Brazilian midfielder for an initial fee of €30 million in July. 

While Barca must decide whether or not to finalise the deal this summer, Arthur is unlikely to join the club until next January, following the completion of the domestic season in Brazil.

However, Mundo Deportivo claimed that some directors at Barca were having doubts about finalising the deal for the 21-year-old. Arthur, though, who throughout the negotiation process openly spoke about his desire to complete the move, says the club have been in contact to reassure him that is not the case.

"Barca have faith in me and I am happy about that," he told Diario Sport. "They called me to calm me down. Everything is on track.

"It's my dream to play for a club as big as Barcelona. I'm sure everything is going to work out and when it does I will be even happier than I am now."

Barca could even decide to fast-track the transfer following confirmation that Andres Iniesta will leave the club in the summer.

Andre Gomes is also expected to be sold at the end of the season, which could leave coach Ernesto Valverde short in midfield.

Arthur, who remains hopeful of making the Brazil squad for this summer's World Cup, is disappointed he will not get the chance to play alongside Iniesta.

"I'm sad," he said. "I began to understand football in another way by watching Iniesta play. For me, he is an example, someone that's been a reference for me.

"I hoped to be able to share a dressing room with him, which is why I say I'm sad to see him go. It was a dream to play in the same team as him."

Samuel Marsden covers Barcelona for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @SamuelMarsden.


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