Barcelona coach Quique Setien has dismissed talk of an exit for Arthur in a possible swap deal with Juventus, and reiterated his midfield ace wants to stay.
The 23-year-old joined the Catalan giants in 2018, and has gone on to make 67 appearances for the club as he gradually looks to take on a more prominent role.
With stalwarts such as Sergio Busquets, Ivan Rakitic and Arturo Vidal on the wrong side of 30, the likes of Arthur and Frankie de Jong will surely be seen as the long-term solutions in midfield moving forward, and so an exit would seemingly make little sense as the void would then have to be filled with a new signing.
As noted by the Sun, via the paper edition of Tuttosport, it had been suggested that advanced talks were held between Barcelona and Juventus over a swap deal involving Arthur and Miralem Pjanic.
Given the Juve star is now 30, that also seems to make little sense from a Barca perspective, particularly if they weren’t to receive a significant fee as part of the exchange too.
However, Setien has seemingly poured cold water over that particular rumour, as he has insisted that he hasn’t been told about any such swap deal while he reiterated that Arthur has made it clear that he wants to stay at the Nou Camp.
“I speak often with management and nobody has ever told me anything about it,” he told La Gazzetta dello Sport, as reported by Calciomercato. “Among other things, Arthur has already said twice that he wants to stay at Barça and I understand him perfectly, in his place I would think like him. I would not leave a team like this, the possibility of having the best player in the world at my side.
“Pjanic is another excellent player, but allow me a more general consideration linked to the moment: today talking about the market is risky.”
That in turn should end suggestions that such a deal is at an advanced stage, unless talks are ongoing without Setien’s knowledge.
As per the reasons outlined above though, the idea of a swap involving Pjanic and Arthur arguably makes little sense for Barcelona even if the former is a proven, serial winner, and so if the Brazilian international has made clear he wishes to remain with the Catalan giants, time will tell if that desire is respected by the club.