The news that most Columbus Crew SC fans were waiting to hear is apparently close from happening. According to a report from Brazilian website UOL Esportes, the Black & Gold have signed midfielder Artur to a permanent deal, assuring his return to the club in 2018.
According to the story, Crew SC exercised the purchase option of Artur’s loan contract, acquiring 50 percent of his rights from Brazilian club São Paulo FC for a fee of $1.5 million. The Brazilian club still owns 20 percent of the player’s transfer rights with Grêmio Juventus Jaraguá, a small club from the country’s lower divisions, owning the remaining 30 percent.
That means that Crew SC is only entitled to half of the player’s rights in case of a future sell. The other portion of fee obtained in a possible negotiation would be split by São Paulo and Grêmio Jaraguá according to the clubs’ shares.
Columbus Crew SC did not immediately respond to a request for confirmation.
The deal meant a huge profit for São Paulo, who acquired 70 percent of Artur’s rights in August 2016 for a fee of approximately $133,000. After only four matches with São Paulo, the midfielder was loaned to Crew SC and now was sold for 10 times his buying fee.
The Brazilian club had plans on bringing Artur back in 2018 and has even set the date of January 3rd for this presentation for preseason. However, the fact that the negotiations for acquiring Jucilei (a center midfielder who started most of team’s games this year) on a permanent basis progressed allowed São Paulo to accept parting ways with him.
Artur, 21, joined Crew SC in February and became an important player for the Black & Gold, playing 27 matches (20 starts) and recording one goal and three assists in his first MLS season.
Artur left Columbus on Saturday, one day after head coach and sporting director Gregg Berhalter said his permanency would be defined in the upcoming weeks. Apparently, Crew SC acted fast and assured the return of an important piece for 2018 before it was too late.