Juventus midfielder Miralem Pjanić has agreed a move to Barcelona as the clubs decide which players will be going the other way in a swap deal.
Pjanić is in his fourth season with Juventus and has been instrumental to Maurizio Sarri’s side so far this campaign as the team’s deepest midfielder, replicating the role of Jorginho under the Italian at Napoli and Chelsea.
The Bosnia and Herzegovina international is now 30 years of age but has been playing some of the best football of his career this season, with Juventus sitting top of the Serie A table and still in the Coppa Italia and Champions League before the suspension of play.
Italian publication La Gazzetta dello Sport revealed that Pjanić has agreed personal terms with the La Liga giants but, with both sides inclined to avoid including money in the transaction, the identity of the Barcelona players involved in the exchange is yet to be determined.
Juventus are thought to favour a move for the Brazilian midfielder Arthur. The 23-year-old struggled with injuries earlier in the season, his second in European football, but has only started four matches since Quique Setién became manager in January.
However, despite the lack of minutes afforded to Arthur, Barcelona appear reluctant to part ways with the Brazilian and the player himself has reiterated his desire to stay. Instead, the current La Liga leaders have offered Ivan Rakitic or Arturo Vidal.
Both midfielders are 32 and enter the final year of their contracts next season. Vidal would be returning to Juventus, a club he spent four trophy-laden seasons with, but five years older and perhaps lacking the same physical capabilities which characterised his playing style in his peak.
Rakitic may want a move away from Barcelona but instead of Turin, his preferred destination would be back to Sevilla. The Croatia international has been engaged in increasingly heated negotiations with Barcelona in recent weeks, with one report even suggesting the player is at ‘war’ with the club.
Swap deals are incredibly complicated transactions and are rarely completed, especially involving players of the calibre of European superclubs. However, given the unknown financial implications which the coronavirus outbreak will bring, this type of deal may no longer be restricted to the daydreams of fanciful fans.