Arthur Melo has made it pretty clear he does not want to leave Barcelona this summer but his words have done very little to stop speculation over his future continuing to swirl.
The Brazilian came out and said ‘thanks but no thanks’ after rumors of a move to Inter emerged and was then even more adamant when Juventus were said to be on the prowl.
Arthur Melo:— Goal (@goal) April 29, 2020
"There is always speculation but my idea is clear. The only option that interests me is staying at Barcelona.
"The supposed interest of big clubs is always flattering and a positive sign, but my mind is on playing for Barcelona for many years." pic.twitter.com/TutXcNhYOD
The word is that Barcelona want to bring in Miralem Pjanic from Juventus, and the Serie A champions would be happy to do business as long as Arthur moves the other way.
Even manager Quique Setien has been asked about a potential swap but insisted he knows nothing about it, well only that he knows the midfielder wants to stay.
“Among other things, Arthur has already said twice he wants to stay at Barça and I understand him perfectly. In his place, I would think the same. I would not leave a team like this, nor the possibility of playing alongside the best player in the world.”
Source | La Gazzetta dello Sport
That should probably be that really except it’s not because this is Barcelona and we all know they are very good at making baffling decisions regarding transfers.
Catalan daily L’Esportiu have Arthur on their front cover on Tuesday with a report that the midfielder is coming under pressure at Barcelona.
HI HA CAS. El @FCBarcelona_cat pressiona @arthurhromelo perquè accepti un intercanvi per @Miralem_Pjanic amb la @juventusfc @RCDEspanyol @Penya1930 @FCBbasket @MiaOrdeig @albertcv7 @matabosch7 Guillem Pujol @nataciocat pic.twitter.com/tBJIoZ9OGX— L'Esportiu (@lesportiuCAT) May 11, 2020
The report states he is not one of the club’s ‘untouchables’ and they think a swap would make sporting and economic sense. The argument seems to be that Arthur may be a lot younger than Pjanic but Barca do have Carles Alena and Riqui Puig coming through.
Mundo Deportivo are also talking about Arthur again. They report Arthur, Nelson Semedo and Jean-Clair Todibo are the three Barcelona players that like Juve they most. Coach Maurizio Sarri and director Fabio Paratici’s choice is Arthur but they haven’t managed to convince the Brazilian to depart yet.
Over in Italy they are also talking about a host of potential swap deals between Barcelona and Juventus this summer.
La prima pagina di #Tuttosport ⤵️— Tuttosport (@tuttosport) May 12, 2020
#Juve in #Barça
Ciao #Andrea. Il ragazzo d'oro della Dea
Leggi le altre notizie su https://t.co/OcK3O27zuK pic.twitter.com/nVEQ8z2C6T
Indeed Tuttosport are even growing optimistic Arthur can be tempted to Juve in exchange for Pjanic. They report on Tuesday he is getting closer to saying yes to the Turin giants.
The Pjanic-Arthur swap has gathered so much momentum it’s even knocked Barcelona’s hunt for Lautaro Martinez and Neymar off the front pages. An attacker still looks to be Barca’s priority but such a move would leave little money left for further additions.
For whatever reason Barcelona seem increasingly determined to land Pjanic, but their best chance of securing the 30-year-old looks to be via a player exchange deal. Arthur may not be keen but Juventus look ready to try and do their best to convince him to move to Turin. Expect this saga to run for a while yet.