The Arthur-Pjanic deals surprised many. But if we look at it more closely, it quickly takes on a meaning, at least if we place it from the point of view of the Catalan management.
FC Barcelona needed money. Lots of money. To avoid ending this financial year in the red zone, the Catalans had to enter a sum of around 70 million euros in their accounts. And necessarily, with the coronavirus, it is difficult to separate from unwanted players at the club.
If Josep Maria Bartomeu wanted in particular to separate from Jean-Clair Todibo, Philippe Coutinho or Ivan Rakitic to obtain his much desired players, there has to be other solutions. Hence this exchange between Arthur and Miralem Pjanic. In sport, it seems difficult to justify in any case. Certainly, Arthur Melo has not been at the expected level this season, but the Brazilian has proven to have the famous “DNA Barça”, so important for midfielders joining the team. At the same time, Miralem Pjanic has been clearly losing momentum in Turin in recent months.
But above all, the departure of a 23-year-old player for the arrival of a player who is entering his thirties is particularly frowned upon, at a time when the team has more and more thirties and seems to need blood new. Anyway, this exchange never really had any sporting motives, since it was, above all, used to rebalance the accounts. The sale of Arthur to Juventus – for 82 million euros including bonus – allows the Liga team to balance their budget and end the financial year in the green zone. The purchase of Miralem Pjanic for 70 million euros will be made from July 1, and will therefore count for the period 2020/2021.
Especially since the salary of the Bosnian will be much higher than that of the Brazilian. By then, the Catalans can however hope to sell more players or count on different bonuses.
Barça is not at its first attempt
In any case, such an operation is not considered illegal, neither from the point of view of UEFA’s financial fair play nor that of La Liga’s financial control.
Thanks to this operation, Josep Maria Bartomeu will be able, during the next extraordinary meeting in front of the socios, to present profitable accounts, or at least, not in deficit.
Jasper Cillessen had gone to Valence for 35 million euros at the end of June, while Neto had done the opposite. Also quite curious operations have taken place in recent months, like this exchange between Alejandro Marqués, sold to Juventus for €8.2M, while Barça recovered Matheus Pereira in exchange for 200,000 € in the form of a loan . The Catalans however have the obligation to buy the Brazilian for 8 million euros in the coming days.