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Report: Miralem Pjanic is desperate to leave Barcelona, wants to return to Italy

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With the new manager being the old manager, it’s only natural that potential new players are some old favorites, too.

SD Eibar v FC Barcelona - La Liga Santander Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images

We are nearly 12 months removed from the Miralem Pjanic-Arthur swap deal, and I think it’s safe to say that the only real benefactors have been the financial books of both Juventus and Barcelona. Neither player had very good 2020-21 seasons — and that could be an understatement — and both players are already being sporadically linked with exits away from the club they have spent all of about 10 months at.

There’s more smoke around one player’s situation than the other.

And, you can probably guess which one — you know, the player who fell further and further down the pecking order as the recently completed season went along.

Miralem Pjanic’s status with Barcelona is anything but certain and, according to Barcelona-based newspaper SPORT, the Bosnian midfielder is very much keen on leaving the Catalan giants this summer. Pjanic, who started all of six La Liga games and appeared in 19 games total, has his sights set on returning to the country where so much of his best parts of his career have taken place — in Italy. And considering the guy who was Juventus’ manager when Pjanic had his best years in Turin is back at the club, then you can bet your backside that they’re trying to connect some dots and start this transfer ball a-rollin’.

Now, in case you were wondering just how bad of a season Pjanic just had, let’s check in with our SBN blog friends at Barca Blaugranes with their recent midfield ratings:

Miralem Pjanic - 4

Oh that’s not good at all. Anything else? Yes there is:

Pjanic may not have been the first choice, but it was certainly possible to get him involved and contributing in some capacity.

Instead it was as if he didn’t even exist.

OK, so we have Pjanic, now 31 years old, coming off a completely forgettable and unproductive season with Barcelona clearly looking for a way out of a club that is going in a different direction than what he thought when he first signed there. You combine that with the final season he had at Juventus when he struggled as the season went on under Maurizio Sarri and there’s just

There is a catch with SPORT’s report: Pjanic, who earns a reported €8.5 million at Barcelona, would likely have to arrive on loan or via another swap deal rather than a straight transfer because his wages are what they are and he just arrived for €60 million last summer. That makes things rather interesting for the simple fact that Barcelona will want to get his salary off the books, but will have difficulty in doing so because it’s such a big number in a transfer market where so many clubs don’t have a ton of money to spend because of the pandemic.