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Reports: Juventus closing in on deal for Arthur Melo


FC Barcelona v Athletic Club - La Liga Photo by Eric Alonso/Getty Images

As compared to a few weeks ago where there was maybe some progress and then definitely not much progress, the possibility of Juventus signing Barcelona midfielder Arthur Melo as part of a swap deal with Miralem Pjanic is about as close to its been than ever before.

Wednesday brought us the report from Sky Sport Italia’s Gianluca Di Marzio that Arthur is about as open to a move to Juventus as he’s ever been. (You gotta read those signals properly or else you’ll get yourself burned, folks.)

A day later, signs are pointing toward a deal getting closer and closer to being completed.

According to reports from Di Marzio, ESPN and La Gazetta dello Sport’s Nico Schira, Juventus are becoming more and more confident that a deal will be able to be completed, possibly as early as the end of this weekend. The obvious sticking point is still the one we’ve been curious about all along — Arthur actually saying yes to Juventus. But, as Di Marzio reports, Arthur has accepted the fact that Barcelona’s desire is to sell him, and now his indication is to try and get a nice little chunk of change when it comes to his contract with Juventus.

Schira says that Juve has offered the 23-year-old Brazilian a five-year contract worth €5.2 million net per season.

There’s another important part of Di Marzio’s report: Juventus’ price that they will pay for Arthur will be €70 million, not the €75 million that he reported a day earlier. That means the difference between the fee for Arthur and the fee for Pjanic will be the €10 million figure that we’ve been hearing for the last few days — which falls pretty much in line with previous reporting even though the actual transfer fees might be different.

Now, the interesting part of this whole negotiation is the fact that both of these players are still very much active for their current teams. The coronavirus pandemic has thrown everything for a loop, but the fact that Pjanic has reportedly said yes to a move to Barcelona but is still very much part of Juventus’ midfield — to what level of effectiveness is your judgement, not mine — is quite the interesting twist to a deal that has been plenty interesting already.

But if multiple outlets — yes, even the ones that aren’t exactly 100 percent reliable — are reporting that Juventus are confident that a deal for Arthur is very much possible and close to happening, then all that we need to wait for is that “Yes” moment. And once it does, then Juventus’ first major business of the summer will be a thing. Good times.