Man United facing battle with Barcelona to sign talented Brazilian midfielder: report

Manchester United are facing competition from Barcelona in their pursuit of Gremio midfielder Arthur Melo ahead of the summer, according to reports.

The Catalan side remain intent on securing midfield reinforcements in the summer after failing to sign Jean Michael Seri, who has since emerged as a target for Man United, from Nice.

Jose Mourinho has publicly stated his ambition to prioritise adding to his midfield in the summer ahead of Michael Carrick‘s retirement and Marouane Fellaini‘s possible departure.

But according to TeamTalk, representatives from Barcelona have jetted out to Porto Alegre in order to tie up a deal for the 21-year-old.

This will come as a blow to Mourinho, who has monitored the Brazilian midfielder for some time as he looks to add greater creative stimulus and dynamism to the core of his side.

But his interest in Melo sheds light on the kind of profile he is after ahead of the summer: a combative, energetic presence blessed with natural close control to act as a kind of binding agent in a midfield three, giving United the chance to circulate the ball more effectively and narrow down the often pronounced space between midfield and attack.