Barcelona and Juventus closer to reaching a player-swap deal

Arthur Melo, FC Barcelona. (Photo by Eric Alonso/Getty Images)
Arthur Melo, FC Barcelona. (Photo by Eric Alonso/Getty Images) /

Juventus confident they can convince Barcelona’s Arthur Melo to join.

Barcelona and Juventus are edging ever closer to a deal that would see the Catalan side acquire Miralem Pjanic with Arthur Melo headed the other direction.

According to ESPN, the negotiations between the two clubs advanced this last week with a growing confidence among Juventus that the Brazilian will agree to a deal despite stating numerous times that he does not want to leave Barcelona.

The way the deal would work is that the transfer fee the clubs get would be included in the books for this season whereas the cost to sign the players would be amortized over the life of their respective contracts.

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In other words, it’s another example of creative accounting in order to balance the books taking into account the financial hits they’ve taken due to the pandemic.

Pjanic has long stated his desire to join the Catalan side whereas Arthur has been reluctant. But it’s become apparent that Barcelona do not value him as much as he values them given their behavior throughout this process.

If they really saw Arthur as a key piece towards their future, they would have rebuffed Juventus’ attempts to sign him once he explicitly told them that he did not want to leave. Instead, they’ve done the opposite. The club have continued talks despite the player’s wishes.

The doubts surrounding his future have certainly not helped his performances. He was subbed off about an hour into their match against Athletic Bilbao and hasn’t had a good time of things since the league resumed.

Manager Quique Setien was asked about Arthur and whether or not his head’s been turned because of the rumors.

"“Maybe it’s affecting him,” the Barça coach said. “But I am happy with the work he’s doing. He’s an important player for us and we’re trying to get the best out of him. We need all our players.”“In these situations, we try to isolate ourselves from what’s [being said]; things we can’t control. We will speak with him to get him focused. I understand it’s a complicated situation but we have to be above it.”Source: Sport"

One of the questions surrounding this proposed deal is why Barcelona would want to swap a 23-year-old player who has yet to reach his potential for a 30-year-old especially when the club should be trying to go younger.

According to Mundo Deportivo, the answer is because those in charge see Arthur as a player who only shows flashes in certain moments. Pjanic, on the other hand, is a more consistent player throughout a match.

One can counter that by saying that Arthur has never really been given an opportunity to show he can be consistent. Injuries have hampered his Barcelona career and even when healthy, he was always being subbed off an hour or so into a match.

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What seemed like a remote possibility a week or so ago only awaits an approval from Arthur for it to be complete. Juventus seem to desperately want him and perhaps that desire, along with a sizable increase in his wages, will finally convince him to join.