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The Swap Deal Involving Miralem Pjanic And Arthur Melo Was 'Illegal'

The Swap Deal Involving Miralem Pjanic And Arthur Melo Was 'Illegal'

The controversial deal was one of 62 transfers that is under investigation.

James Hilsum

James Hilsum

The swap deal involving Miralem Pjanic and Arthur Melo has been declared as an illegal transfer, as revealed by investigative journalist Romain Molina.

The deal was among a number that were scrutinised in an investigation into capital gains on the transfer market, by an Italian government authority responsible for regulating the stock exchange.

Arthur and Pjanic moved in opposite directions back in June 2020, with the former moving to Juventus for €72 million and an additional €10 million in variables.

Meanwhile, the latter headed to Barcelona for €60 million and a maximum €5 million in additional costs.

It is these inflated transfer values which are being investigated with "capital gains" being noted as the reasons for the higher costs involved.

The term "capital gains" refers to the profit earned on the sale of an asset, which describes the difference between its higher selling price and lower cost price.

On the face of things, the only money which exchanged hands was the €12 million difference between the two deals.

But this is not the case, because for accounting purposes, a player arriving at a club sees their transfer fee spread out over the length of their new contract. Meanwhile, the fee for a player being sold is known as immediate income.

Forbes calculated if a club buys a player for $80 million and signs him to a four-year contract, the outgoing fee becomes an $80 million asset on the books.

That value then decreases by $20 million per season, so if they then sell that player for $50 million after three years, they generate a $30 million profit.

So, despite there being just a €12 million ($13.54m) difference in the values of Pjanic and Arthur, the deal with Barca generated Juventus a capital gains of €41.8 million ($47.26m).

No sanctions have been handed out at present, but it will be interesting to see how this investigation develops in the coming weeks.

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Topics: Barcelona, Serie A, Juventus, La Liga