Selling Arthur could harm Barcelona's chances of signing Neymar - Rivaldo

Goal.com

Barcelona should be looking to give Arthur time to prove himself at Camp Nou, says Rivaldo, with it possible that the Brazil international could aid the Blaugrana’s bid to re-sign Neymar.

The Liga giants have made no secret of the fact that they would like to bring a familiar face back to Catalunya.

Interest in a player sold to Paris Saint-Germain for €222 million (£195m/$240m) in the summer of 2017 is expected to be rekindled in the next window.

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It could be that funds are freed up to raid the ranks of a Ligue 1 giant by offloading other members of a star-studded squad.

Philippe Coutinho is likely to make a permanent switch elsewhere, while fellow countryman Arthur has seen a move to Italy mooted – with Juventus keen on signing him.

Rivaldo believes offloading the 23-year-old midfielder would be a mistake for Barca, with there plenty of potential to unlock in a man who would link up well with Neymar.

The Blaugrana legend told Betfair: “There are lots of rumours about potential Barcelona transfers this summer and some press recently mentioned that Arthur could leave. I believe this is just talk and expect Arthur to stay at the club for many years.

“He hasn't completed two complete seasons there yet. He arrived as the potential successor to Xavi because of his similar style of play, so it makes no sense to sell him when he is just 23 and has his career ahead of him.

“Furthermore, Arthur has a good relationship with Neymar and selling the youngster could harm Barca's chances of bringing Neymar back.

“Of course, a potential Arthur move won't cancel a Neymar deal as he as many other friends at Barcelona. But I think it's important to keep a solid base to the squad and having Arthur could help persuade Neymar to return to the club.”

Arthur himself has sought to deny he wants to leave Barca despite being flattered by the interest being shown in him.

He said: "There is always speculation but my idea is clear. The only option that interests me is staying at Barcelona.

"The supposed interest of big clubs is always flattering and a positive sign, but my mind is on playing for Barcelona for many years."

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