Arthur Melo has been headline news while La Liga has been suspended after turning down a move to Juventus but has plenty of reasons for rejecting the Serie A champions.
The Italian giants wanted to include the Barcelona midfielder in a deal that would see Miralem Pjanic move to the Camp Nou, but the Brazilian told both clubs he did not want to leave, according to Marca’s Luis F. Rojo.
Arthur had plenty of reasons for wanting to stay too, reports Fernando Polo at Mundo Deportivo. The Brazilian feels Barca is the club that best suits his style of play, and indeed he has already been likened to club legends Xavi and Andres Iniesta during his time at the Camp Nou. Arthur also loves playing in the same team as Sergio Busquets and Lionel Messi.
That’s not all either. Arthur and his family are happy with life in the city. The midfielder only moved from Gremio in 2018 but is said to be very settled and feels a move to Juve would be a step backwards. He’s also shown on social media that he started learning Catalan during lockdown:
Nova classe de català online. Aprenent i millorant! pic.twitter.com/GTQRBS1aLd
— Arthur Melo (@arthurhromelo) April 13, 2020
Arthur Rumors Refuse to Go Away
Arthur could hardly have made his stance clearer in the wake of heavy speculation over his future. He politely played down Inter rumors to Gazzetta dello Sport and was then even firmer in the face of Juve speculation.
A statement from the Barca man read: “There is always speculation but my idea is clear. The only option that interests me is staying at Barcelona. I feel good here and I am grateful to the club and the coaching staff for the confidence they have in me. That is another reason to be totally clear on the fact my only desire is to remain here.”
But his words have done little to quell speculation. Juan Jimenez at AS reports that Barcelona have not ruled out selling the Brazilian in the summer transfer window or using him as part of a swap deal.
The midfielder will get the chance to prove his worth on the pitch shortly. La Liga is set to resume on June 11 after a three-month suspension with the midfielder aiming to secure his second league title with Barcelona.
Arthur’s Difficult Second Season at Barcelona
It’s fair to say that Arthur has had a tricky second season at Barcelona. Injuries have disrupted his campaign, meaning he’s only started 12 of his club’s 27 La Liga matches and only three times in the Champions League.
Yet the 22-year-old remains a key part of the squad, particularly with fellow midfielders Busquets, Ivan Rakitic, and Arturo Vidal all now past the age of 30.
Manager Quique Setien also made his admiration for Arthur clear in his first pre-match after being unveiled as Barcelona manager in January. He told reporters: “He is an extraordinary footballer who understands everything.”