FC Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu has spoken about Arthur Melo, who signed with Juventus some weeks ago. The Barça chief is very angry about the Brazilian’s behavior and explained that the club opened a case against him.
“Arthur called and said: ‘I’m in Brazil and I will not return.’ It’s his decision, but no one gave him permission to do so. We have opened a case against him because there is no reason to justify his absence.”, told Bartomeu in an interview with Sport.
📸 — Arthur Melo on the bench. pic.twitter.com/PHcd2Uwzbg— Barça Universal (@BarcaUniversal) July 16, 2020
The players had a short vacation before starting Champions League preparations, and currently, the whole team is back in Barcelona – except for Arthur. Bartomeu believes that the 23-year-old has disrespected the club and his team-mates.
“We agreed that until the Champions League ended, he would continue to play for Barça, both in the League and in Europe. He is a player who has a certain importance in the team and who could help us. But he did not return from the mini-vacation. It is an unacceptable act of indiscipline.
Reports earlier told that Arthur is not comfortable with how the club treated him, especially considering the fact that he was forced out of the club. Also, the player looked frustrated about not being lined-up after his sale to Juventus. However, Bartomeu explained the other part of the story:
“Arthur explained to us the offer he had received, and we couldn’t match it. He decided to leave and the whole operation developed since then.”
“Arthur showed a lack of respect for his club and his teammates. He’s in Brazil and he hasn’t returned.”, added Bartomeu.
Koeman has ruled out the departure of Junior Firpo
According to a report published by SPORT, Ronald Koeman has ruled out any and all departures from the squad in the winter transfer window – barring Matheus Fernandes -, including that of Junior Firpo to AC Milan.
The report states that Barcelona are in a sketchy position and do not want to sell any players because signing replacements is getting increasingly tough. The signing of Eric Garcia remains scheduled for the summer when he will be signed on a free transfer, while Memphis Depay and Georginio Wijnaldum seem extremely unlikely.
Firpo was linked out of Barcelona, with both Italian capital clubs – Inter Milan and AC Milan tracking his progress in Spain. A loan move to Milan with a €20 million option to buy was looking extremely realistic. Still, without reinforcements in that position, Barcelona should not be letting the Spaniard leave in the winter.
The truth is, while Barcelona are in crippling debt, and desperately require players off their wage bill, selling low-earners like Firpo seemed like a bad idea. The plan was to let go of the former-Real Betis defender and hand Alejandro Balde his debut. However, at the age of 16, that is too much pressure to knight to a player.
That said, the club is still willing to listen to offers for Matheus Fernandes, who has been deemed surplus. The Brazilian joined from Palmeiras in what was termed yet another shady deal by the long-gone Josep Bartomeu. He has registered no more than 17 minutes this season, coming on against Dynamo Kyiv in the UEFA Champions League.
Matheus was not even given the chance to play against UE Cornella in the Copa del Rey and has spent 11 games on the bench this season following his lucky 17 minutes in the UCL. Deportivo Alaves are eyeing a loan move for the 22-year-old owing to their budget limitations, and Barcelona will be hoping to make this transfer a reality soon.