Rio de Janeiro: Spanish football giants Real Madrid have joined the race to sign Gremio midfielder Arthur.
The 21-year-old Brazilian has already been linked with Barcelona, having been photographed wearing their jersey following talks with the Catalan club earlier this month, reports Xinhua news agency.
“They are two big clubs. I think that it is recognition of the hard work that I’ve put in,” Arthur told TV Globo on Friday.
When asked which of the Spanish rivals would be his preferred choice, Arthur replied: “I’ll leave that with Gremio.”
Arthur has attracted Europe’s top clubs after a superb 2017 season in which he helped Gremio win the Copa Libertadores, South America’s top club competition.
In October, the Brazilian club extended his contract until 2021, stipulating a 50 million euro ($58.75 million) buyout clause.
The former Goias youth team player was rewarded for his impressive form by being called up to Brazil’s national squad for their last 2018 World Cup qualifiers in October.
He is not the only Gremio player to attract the attention of European clubs. Forward Luan, who was named Copa Libertadores player of the tournament, is said to have drawn interest from Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Milan and Paris Saint-Germain.