Juventus and Barcelona have agreed in principle for an incredible swap deal involving midfielders Arthur Melo and Miralem Pjanic.
Although there have been no concrete agreement over the finances involved, there is renewed optimism that the deal will materialise with Barca potentially receiving a fee in the region of €70 million.
Arthur, who only joined the Liga champions from Gremio in 2018, had previously expressed his desire to remain at Camp Nou.
Arthur’s stance has changed in the last 24 hours, however, with Barca head coach Quique Setien having publicly claimed that talk of the player joining the Serie A leaders is likely to be playing on his mind, while refusing to confirm he’ll remain a Catalan player next season.
when asked if Juve’s interest in the midfielder had affected his performance in the 1-0 win over Athletic Club: “If this is the case I’m sure it is affecting him, yes.
I’m very happy with what he’s doing, he’s an important player for us and we’ll try to get the best out of him.
Given how things are we need all of our players and we’ll try and isolate ourselves from this situation and the media who are reporting on and talking about these rumours. We need him to be focused. It’s true it is a difficult situation but we have to overcome it somehow.”
The decision to offload Arthur may seem a strange one, given his importance to the first team, although with Barca needing to sell players to help balance the books, the Brazilian falls into the category of being available for the right price.
A move for the Bosnian will help fill the boid created by Athur’s departure, with Barca anxiously awaiting the completion of the deal by June 30 – the end of the financial year – as they seek to raise the necessary funds to avoid ending the period with a loss.
Should the clubs fail to reach a final agreement by July 1, Setien’s side will expect Pjanic’s value to depreciate by €10m (£9m/$11m), thus increasing the total package for Maurizio Sarri’s Juve.