Quique Setien admitted he has spoken to midfielder Arthur about his Barcelona future in his pre-match press conference on Friday.
The Barca boss faced the media ahead of Saturday’s trip to Real Mallorca and it was no surprise when the topic of Arthur came up. The Brazilian has been heavily linked with a move to Juventus, despite insisting he wants to stay at the Camp Nou.
Setien told reporters he had talked to the Brazilian but was pretty coy about what the two had discussed.
“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.”
Barcelona and Juventus are continuing to discuss a possible swap that would involve Miralem Pjanic moving to the Camp Nou and Arthur heading to Italy. The Turin giants think they can persuade the Brazilian to change his mind, according to Tom Kershaw at The Independent.
Arthur Happy at Barcelona
Arthur only joined Barcelona from Gremio in 2018 and has a contract with the club that runs until 2024. He has made it pretty clear he’s not interested in a move away this summer despite interest from the Serie A champions.
“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.
“The supposed interest of big clubs is always flattering and a positive sign, but my mind is on playing for Barcelona for many years. Barça is where I have always wanted to be and I want to be here for a long time.”
Yet Arthur’s words have not stopped speculation about his future at Barcelona which looks set to rumble on. The Catalan giants are under pressure to offload players by the end of June and are open to selling the Brazilian, according to Sam Marsden and Moises Llorens at ESPN.
Arthur Fit For Title Run-In
Arthur has struggled with injury during his second season at Barcelona which has limited him to just 12 La Liga starts in 2019-20 so far. However, Setien confirmed he is fit for their final 11 games and has benefited from some time off.
“He had an ankle problem before the break. The rest was good for him and he has returned well, trained well, and is like the rest. He is a great footballer.”
The Brazilian will be hoping he has done enough in training to convince his manager to start him on Saturday when Barcelona resume their La Liga campaign at Real Mallorca.