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Report: Juventus, Barcelona agree to €80 million fee for Arthur Melo

Don’t read too much into it because that’s not what Juve are going to actually pay.

Sevilla v FC Barcelona - La Liga Santander Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images

Juventus’ pursuit of Barcelona midfielder Arthur Melo over the past few weeks has been anything but a “normal” kind of negotiation. But, with Fabio Paratici coming out before Juve’s 2-0 win over Bologna on Monday and saying that the club “have spoken frequently with Barcelona” about Arthur, we know that this is not just some newspaper gossip that involves a player who isn’t playing all that well like Miralem Pjanic.

And while the willingness of Arthur to join Juventus has always been the thing that the deal has hinged on — and we’re waiting for a definitive signal that he has decided — there other aspects of the deal that are looking to be done and out of the way.

According to a report for Sky Sports News in the United Kingdom on Tuesday, Juventus and Barcelona have agreed to a fee for the 23-year-old Brazilian. The total price, you say? About €80 million, which is something that will clearly jump off the page when you see that for the first or second time. Combine it with the fact that just a few days ago Sky Italia’s Gianluca Di Marzio reported that Juventus has offered Arthur a contract worth €5 million per season — more than double of what he currently makes at Barcelona — and you might have the pendulum turning toward this deal actually happening.

On Tuesday night, Di Marzio said major developments could be on the horizon, with optimism about the deal being able to get completed growing as time goes on.

Except for the biggest thing this potential deal still needs to happen: Arthur agreeing to move to Juventus — which up until now remains a giant question mark as to whether he actually will.

Now, you might be thinking to yourself, “Boy, Danny, €80 million for a player like Arthur sure is a lot of money.” And, well, it is, but this was always going to be a swap deal if Arthur became a Juventus player, so it’s not like they were ever going to pay the full €80 million or anything close to it.

Here’s the catch: While Juventus and Barcelona have reportedly agreed to an €80 million fee for Arthur, the fact that Pjanic is set to go to Spain if the deal gets done means that the actual price that Juve ends up paying will be one of the highest the club has ever paid. According to reports over the weekend, while Arthur is valued at €80 million, Pjanic’s fee will be in the neighborhood of €70 million, meaning that Juventus’ actual fee is around €10 million or so after some quick math.

Given the financial constraints that have suddenly been put on the transfer market as result of the coronavirus pandemic, we knew some creativity was bound to happen. And, seeing as this looks like it could be the first major deal to happen for Juve’s coronavirus-impacted transfer market, we’re getting some pretty good hints about how things will be going down.

The conclusion: Juve could have a new regista for next season soon. He just has to actually want to come to Turin. Minor details, right? (Don’t answer that.)