Juventus director Fabio Paratici has confirmed his club are talking to Barcelona about the possibility of a swap deal involving Miralem Pjanic and Arthur.
“We have spoken with FC Barcelona, we are both playing important games and we are waiting. The deal doesn’t depend on the dates but on the players’ will and agreement between the parties.”
Pjanic has also been targeted by French champions Paris Saint-Germain but has made it clear he only wants to sign for Barcelona, according to Cristina Cubero at Mundo Deportivo.
While the 30-year-old is keen to head to the Camp Nou it seems Arthur is reluctant to move the other way. The Brazilian issued a statement in April explaining “the only option I’m interested in is staying at Barcelona” when rumors of interest from Inter and Juventus first emerged.
Can Juve Change Arthur’s Mind?
Yet Juventus has refused to give up on Arthur despite the midfielder’s insistence that he wants to stay at the Camp Nou. The Italian champions have “re-doubled their efforts” to land Arthur but are yet to come to an agreement, according to Lluis Miguelsanz at Sport.
Barcelona manager Quique Setien has admitted he has spoken to Arthur about his future recently but did not give much away about what their conversation entailed.
“We certainly discussed his future, but not for very long. There are many circumstances affecting the transfer market this summer, but the reality right now is that we still have objectives to achieve this season and I will need help from everyone in the squad. We are in the running for La Liga and the Champions League. I don’t want to speculate right now, as we have to focus on the current challenges.”
Arthur has endured an injury-interrupted campaign in 2019-20 but is back to full fitness. He has started only one of Barcelona’s three La Liga games since the competition resumed in June but may see more game time with Frenkie de Jong out injured.
Barcelona Need to Sell
Barcelona does appear willing to sell Arthur even though he only arrived from Brazilian side Gremio in 2018 for €40 million ($45m). The midfielder looks a good fit for the Catalan giants and is still only 23, but the club needs to raise funds by selling players this summer.
The Spanish champions must raise €70m ($78m) by the end of June to balance the books and are hopeful of selling Philippe Coutinho and Jean-Clair Todibo first, according to Miguelsanz.
Yet Arthur’s future remains the subject of much speculation, and Paratici’s latest comments suggest Juve are not giving up hope of tempting the 23-year-old to Turin this summer.