Barcelona have confirmed the purchase of midfielder Miralem Pjanic from Juventus for €60m plus €5m in variables.
The Bosnia and Herzegovina international arrives in Catalunya on a four-year deal, with a €400m buyout clause baked into the contract which will never, ever be activated.
The club also announced the sale of Arthur to Juventus earlier in the day, the deal essentially a ‘Pjanic + €12m for Arthur’ swap dressed up in fancy accounting to make both clubs’ balance sheets look better for the end of the season – Barça themselves had to find somewhere around €65m in sales before the end of June to balance their books.
The length of Pjanic’s new deal suggests that the Catalan club have either learned absolutely nothing from their current financial issues – caused in large part by expensive players on large, long-term contracts who they can’t sell – or that they were so backed into a corner by circumstances that they were forced to accept any demand the Bosnian made.
Pjanic is now the wrong side of 30 and has had arguably his single weakest season in Turin over the last year, and will (other summer sales notwithstanding) now join a 33-year-old Arturo Vidal, 32-year-old Ivan Rakitic and Sergio Busquets (32 in July) in a midfield whose only youth is provided by Frenkie de Jong – and Riqui Puig on the occasions he makes it into the starting lineup.
Juventus, meanwhile, swap out an expensive ageing star for an exciting 23-year-old who’s unlike anybody else at their disposal – on a cheaper contract to boot.
The move will boost Maurizio Sarri’s options next season as the reigning Serie A champions look to extend their winning run and get back to Champions League contention once again.
For more from Chris Deeley, follow him on Twitter at @ThatChris1209