Juventus Bound Arthur Refuses To Return To Barcelona Training
Barcelona's chances of winning the Champions League have been dealt a blow, with midfielder Arthur Melo refusing to return to training or play for the team.
The Catalan giants lost out on the La Liga title to fierce rivals Real Madrid this season and they are desperate to bring the Champions League title back to the Nou Camp for the first time since 2015.
However, after agreeing to sell Arthur to Juventus earlier this year, with Miralem Pjanic set to move in the other direction, the Brazilian is refusing to go back to training and won't play next month in the Champions League.
According to Goal, the 23-year-old won't return from his home country and wants to negotiate his early release from the Nou Camp.
Barca had been after Pjanic for sometime before they eventually agreed a deal for him and had offered Arthur in exchange early in the negotiations.
According to reports at the time Arthur had no interest in leaving the Catalan side and so they offered the Old Lady other options as part of the deal.
Maurizio Sarri's side however only wanted Melo in exchange for Pjanic and eventually Barca managed to persuade the former Gremio player to move to Italy.
It's no surprise then that he has little interest in helping Barca win the Champions League, and the two sides could even face each other in the semi-final of the competition.
The Spanish side have to get past Napoli in the second leg of their last 16 tie, having drawn the first leg 1-1 in Italy back in February.
Juve face Lyon in their last 16 game, after losing 1-0 in France, and will face either Real Madrid or Manchester City in the quarter final if they win, whilst Barca would come up against either Chelsea or Bayern Munich in the last eight.
Arthur's refusal to play ahead of his big move is reminiscent of what happened to certain players in England during the return from Covid-19 lockdown.
Ryan Fraser refused to play for Bournemouth, ahead of his contract expiring at the end of the season, and Charlton Athletic striker Lyle Taylor was in the same position in the Championship relegation battle.
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