The summer-long question of where Arthur Melo is going to be playing his football for the 2022-23 season — because it was never really going to be at Juventus — has finally arrived.
And even a few hours after initial reports broke of where he is heading, it is still somewhat hard to believe.
Juventus announced on Thursday, the final day of the summer transfer window, that Arthur has signed on a season-long loan deal with Liverpool for an initial €4.5 million fee. There were initial thoughts that it would be a dry loan for the 2022-23 season, but in Juventus announcement of the deal it was revealed that Liverpool has a buy option of €37.5 million to make Arthur’s move to Merseyside permanent next summer. Either way, it clears Juve of a big salary and a player that clearly wasn’t in Max Allegri’s plans for the new campaign.
According to Goal Italia’s Romeo Agresti, Liverpool and Juventus were able to negotiate the Arthur deal in a 24-hour span, with the Reds set to pick up most of the Brazilian’s salary this season. Arthur reportedly agreed to personal terms and underwent his necessary medical exams earlier in the day before signing on with the Champions League finalists.
Here is the official wording of the deal, courtesy of the Juventus press office:
Turin, 1 September 2022 - Juventus Football Club S.p.A. announces that an agreement has been reached with Liverpool F.C. for the temporary disposal, until 30 June 2023, of the registration rights of the player Arthur Henrique Ramos De Oliveira Melo for a consideration of € 4.5 million, the agreement envisages ancillary costs of € 0.3 million.
The agreement further envisages the right for Liverpool to definitively acquire the player’s registration rights; the agreed consideration for the definitive disposal is € 37.5 million, payable in two years.
While Arthur is in the third year of his five-year deal he signed with Juventus after being part of the infamous swap deal with Miralem Pjanic in the summer of 2020, this probably is the end of the road for the 26-year-old Brazilian in Turin. And if you don’t think that’s the case, just go ahead and check out Arthur’s “tribune” video to Juventus — it’s one of those “thank you” posts that pretty much allows everybody to read between the lines.
And you can understand why.
After two seasons with Juventus, it’s been anything but a successful move to Italy for a player who was somewhat reluctant to leave Barcelona two years ago. Arthur was plagued by injuries — and long-term ones — as well as just simply not playing all that well. Under Andrea Pirlo and then Allegri, he never really found any sort of positive form for an extended period of time. He also didn’t really find a true position in the midfield under either manager, with his rather limited skillset putting him into the kind of hole where he just couldn’t find any sort of natural position in Juve’s midfield.
In 55 games in all competitions with Juventus, Arthur finished with one goal and one assist.