Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has confirmed that Arthur looks set to face legal action, after refusing to return to the club in anticipation of the resumption of their Champions League campaign.
On the back of the COVID-19 pandemic, finances available to clubs on the transfer market this summer are expected to take a heavy hit.
This, in turn, has seen swap deals widely explored, as sides across Europe prepare for the 2020/21 campaign with slashed budgets at their disposal.
One such exchange to not only have gained traction, but actually already been completed, meanwhile, came between Juventus and Barcelona.
In a somewhat bizarre transfer late in June, the Bianconeri and Blaugrana agreed to swap midfield stars, with Miralem Pjanic making the move to the Camp Nou, whilst Arthur heads in the opposite direction.
(The complex financial details involved in the deal are explained brilliantly here by the reliable Swiss Ramble.)
— JuventusFC (#Stron9er 🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆) (@juventusfcen) June 29, 2020
On the back of the first major swap deal of the summer, meanwhile, the vast majority voiced the opinion that Juventus had come out victors.
The Old Lady did fork out an extra €12 million when compared to Barcelona, but landed themselves an unquestionable talent in the process, whilst moving on an aging midfielder fresh off a difficult season.
Whilst all at the Allianz Stadium unsurprisingly appeared enthusiastic regarding pushing a deal through as a result, one individual who was not so keen was Arthur himself.
In the end, though, he was essentially forced out of the club.
And, as outlined above, Barca’s poor treatment of their midfield star looks as though it could result in a messy final parting of ways.
Though he has already penned a deal with Juventus, Arthur is not actually due to link up with the Italian champions until next season.
The South American was therefore expected to see out the remainder of his soon-to-be former side’s Champions League campaign.
As such, it no doubt came as a major source of concern for Quique Setien and co. when word arrived earlier this week that Arthur had come to the decision not to return to Catalunya following the completion of the La Liga campaign.
The 23-year-old has instead opted to remain in his home country of Brazil.
‘Lack of respect’
Barcelona themselves, though, are evidently not prepared to accept Arthur going AWOL without a fight.
Speaking in an interview with SPORT earlier today, Josep Maria Bartomeu was drawn on the situation, with the Blaugrana president having slammed the former Gremio man for his ‘unjustifiable behaviour’:
‘What Arthur has done shows a lack of respect for his team-mates because the team wants to do well in the Champions League.’
‘It is not logical that playing for such an important title, a player decides to remove himself. It is unjustifiable and totally incomprehensible.’
‘We reached the agreement that until the Champions League ended he would continue playing for Barca, both in the league and in the Champions League. He is a player who has a certain importance in the team and who could help us.’
Bartomeu was then questioned on the possible repercussions of Arthur’s actions.
And the Spaniard went on to confirm that Barcelona now intend to take legal action, in a potential case of breach of contract:
‘But he did not appear from the return of the mini-vacations. It is an unacceptable act of indiscipline. And that is why we have opened a file for him, because there is no argument to justify his absence.’
‘He called and said, ‘I will not return, I will stay in Brazil’. It is his decision. No one has given him permission.’
This article was edited by Josh Barker.