With rumours having been swirling since the beginning of the break in competition, Barcelona have made the first step in their summer rebuilding project with Arthur Melo reaching a total agreement with Juventus.
After a fee was agreed between the two clubs on Wednesday, the final accord between the former Gremio star and the Italian giants came on Thursday.
Having been sceptical of a move away from the Camp Nou, Arthur had already rejected a previous advance from the Turin club, but has now agreed to a five-year contract which will seem him earn a net salary of around 7 million euros per year.
This is a significant increase on the 3m euros he earns in Catalonia, and it also allows the Blaugrana to reshape their own midfield by pursuing Miralem Pjanic.
With his aforementioned reservations about leaving Los Cules having been made abundantly clear it may come as a surprise that he has agreed to leave, yet there are several reasons why.
Pressure from both clubs to make the move a reality had left his position at Barcelona very difficult, and in the meeting he had with Eric Abidal and Ramon Planes, they warned him of the club’s dire financial situation and that he may have to take a pay cut.
Whilst these measures were set to be implemented for the whole squad and not just the Brazilian, it was the acknowledgment that competition for places in midfield would make it unlikely he will play much next season.
Furthermore, Juventus’ representatives made such a play for the midfielder that he was left with a feeling of complete respect from the defending Italian champions.
Maurizio Sarri wants him in his team at all costs and had declared him a fundamental signing for Juventus in the summer of 2020, something which ensures Arthur will get the playing time he wants.
Whilst an agreement was reached for Arthur’s sale on Wednesday, for a fee of between 70 and 80 million euros, there hasn’t yet been progress with regards to Pjanic.
The Bosnian will leave for the Camp Nou this summer, it’s almost certain, but Barcelona are looking to find a way to pay the 60m euros Juventus are demanding, and only when that happens will there be an official announcement.