Serie A: League-leaders Juventus sign Brazilian midfielder Arthur Melo from Barcelona for $81 million

The 23-year-old, generally known simply as Arthur, will remain at the Camp Nou until the end of the 2019/20 season, which has been extended until August because of the novel coronavirus pandemic, before moving to Turin.

Reuters June 29, 2020 23:47:54 IST
Serie A: League-leaders Juventus sign Brazilian midfielder Arthur Melo from Barcelona for $81 million

Barcelona: Barcelona have reached an agreement to sell Brazil midfielder Arthur Melo to Italian champions Juventus for a fee of 72 million euros ($80.98 million), the LaLiga side said on Monday.

The 23-year-old, generally known simply as Arthur, will remain at the Camp Nou until the end of the 2019/20 season, which has been extended until August because of the novel coronavirus pandemic, before moving to Turin.

The transfer helps Barca meet their target of a further 70 million euros in revenues from player sales before 30 June, in line with the budget the club’s members approved last October which forecast income of 124 million euros from transfers.

Barcelona have the highest revenues in world football but their finances have been hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, affecting ticket sales, television rights and merchandising, leading the club to enact a 70% pay cut for players in April.

Arthur joined Barca from Brazilian side Gremio in July 2018 and was initially hailed as the heir to former club great Xavi Hernandez, with Lionel Messi saying he was surprised by the player’s similarities to the side’s former puppet master.

But despite a promising opening spell, Arthur made only 19 league starts in his first season with the club and 14 this campaign, and coach Quique Setien said earlier this month that he had not lived up to expectations.

There were also issues off the field.

In March 2019, he apologised for travelling to Paris during the season to attend the birthday party of Brazil teammate Neymar. Last December, a Catalan television network said Arthur had gone snowboarding while sidelined with a groin injury.

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