Juventus consider Arthur move as Serie A champions eye swap deal with Barcelona

Arthur Barcelona 2019-20

Juventus are keen on signing Barcelona midfielder Arthur as Maurizio Sarri seeks to solve the Serie A leaders' midfield issues.

The Brazilian joined the Catalans from Gremio back in 2018 and has made 67 appearances in all competitions for the club, with Barca viewing him as an important part of their first-team setup.

Goal can confirm that they would, however, be open to selling the 23-year-old should the right offer arrive, with contact having been made between both clubs in the last few weeks.

Commenting on the transfer links on Wednesday, Arthur said: "There is always speculation but my idea is clear. The only option that interests me is staying at Barcelona.

"The supposed interest of big clubs is always flattering and a positive sign, but my mind is on playing for Barcelona for many years."

Given their financial situation, and the devastation caused by the coronavirus pandemic, Juve would struggle to pull off an expensive transfer and would therefore need to explore the possibility of a swap deal that would include one of their high earners heading in the opposite direction.

That could see Miralem Pjanic put forward as a possible makeweight, with the Bosnia & Herzegovina international having now turned 30 and his contract not due to expire until 2023.

Despite Juve's interest in Arthur, Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba remains the ideal summer signing, while there have also been links to Chelsea midfielder Jorginho - who worked with Sarri at Stamford Bridge and during their time at Napoli.

Brescia midfielder Sandro Tonali is another who is on Juve's radar although the Italian champions recognise that there is widespread interest in the 19-year-old and the club's owner, Massimo Cellino, is likely to prefer a sale abroad for big money.

Juve's desire to acquire a new midfielder is borne out of frustrations over a lack of goals from that area of the pitch, with there having been a reliance on Cristiano Ronaldo, Paulo Dybala and Gonzalo Higuain further forward.

Indeed, Aaron Ramsey has been Juve's top-scoring midfielder with four goals although he has yet to fully convince Sarri that he is the long-term solution, prompting the Bianconeri to look at alternative options in the transfer market.

From Barca's perspective, there is a desire to balance the books at the club and thus the sale of at least one of their high earners is a priority.

Philippe Coutinho has been offered to clubs in the Premier League - given his lofty wages and the fact he'd still command a significant transfer fee - and the playmaker, who is currently on loan at Bayern Munich, is more likely to leave than Arthur.