Even though we are still weeks and weeks and weeks away from any official transfer moves from actually happening, the wheels appearing to be turning when it comes to Juventus trying to remake its midfield ahead of next season.
That involves player or two — or more —coming into the squad and giving the thumbs up at J Medical prior to a contract signing alongside Fabio Paratici or Pavel Nedved. But it also involves Juve’s front office making some kind of space for their new arrivals on the roster.
We might be seeing some progress on that front.
According to La Gazzetta dello Sport on Friday morning, current Juventus midfielder Miralem Pjanic has reportedly given the green light to a move to Barcelona during the next transfer window. The problem is, though, as Paratici has pointed out over the last couple of weeks, that a lot of Juve’s business this summer could be done via player swaps — which seems like it could very well be a sticking point with this deal if Pjanic’s approval to leave Turin is to be belived.
The catch is this: Juventus wants Barcelona to insert Arthur Melo into the deal. However, as Barcelona looks to revamp its own squad a little bit, the Catalan giants want to shed one of their midfielders over the age of 30 from its roster (and payroll) — Ivan Rakitic or Arturo Vidal, who made a major name for himself under the watchful eye of Antonio Conte nearly a decade ago during the start of Juventus’ current Scudetto run.
Pjanic, who turned 30 years old early last month, had a tough time of things prior to the league-wide stoppage of play back in March. The Bosnian international was in the midst of some of his worst form in a Juventus shirt, and the emergence and effectiveness of Rodrigo Bentancur in more than one midfield role has put Pjanic’s future at Juventus under a spotlight. The rumors, obviously, have followed suit, with Paris Saint-Germain being rumored as a potential landing spot if he does leave Turin this summer.
With Juventus becoming more and more of a rumored admirer of Arthur and the player swap storyline hanging over a lot of the club’s potential business, it only makes sense that Pjanic being connected with Barcelona is happening. To the extent that we are now seeing it happen with Pjanic reportedly saying yes to a move to Barcelona might not have been so much of a thing you could have thought would happen.
But it’s pretty clear that, according to the report above, that Juve has a clear objective as to what they want if Pjanic does go to Barcelona while the defending Spanish champions have a different idea. Arthur is 23 years old and obviously has his best football in front of him, while Vidal and Rakitic are both 32 years old. (For whatever it’s worth, there was a report two weeks ago saying that Rakitic has not heard from Juventus yet. Take that as you will.)