Juventus are believed to have reach an agreement ‘in principle’ with Barcelona midfielder Arthur Melo, which was the final hurdle holding up the proposed arrangement that will send the Brazilian to Turin and see Miralem Pjanic head to Camp Nou.
Arthur’s initial reluctance to leave Barcelona, whom he joined from former club Gremio in January 2018, was thought to be softening and the crucial breakthrough now appears to have come.
It is ESPN information that has revealed the agreement in principle between Arthur and Juve, having promised the player a lucrative contract and an important place in the team.
It has previously been reported that Juve have offered Arthur a contract worth €5m per season, which is said to be more than double what he is currently paid at Camp Nou. Pjanic was already thought to have accepted personal terms on offer from Barça.
The deal is expected to value Arthur at €75m and Pjanic at €60m, which also means Juve will pay an additional €15m on top. Of that amount, €10m will be up front and €5m in extra add-ons.
30 June is an important date in the process as it marks the official end of the 2019/20 season as it should have been and there is a growing belief that the deals may be registered separately in order to allow Barça to balance their books before next season.
The Catalans are starting to pay the price for several years of mismanagement when it comes to recruitment and contracts, with even their world leading annual turnover still not enough to sustainably support the planet’s biggest wage bill.
There seems little doubt among onlookers that Juventus are ‘winning’ this deal by some margin as they replace a 30-year-old Pjanic on a downward slope for a player seven years younger and of substantial longer-term potential for effectively just €15m.