Speaking in an exclusive interview with Sport, Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu discussed the club’s recent falling out with Brazilian midfielder Arthur.
“What Arthur’s done is a lack of respect towards his teammates because the team is desperate to do well in the Champions League, as is the club. It’s not normal that, with such a big trophy on the line, a player decides to remove himself from selection. It’s unjustifiable and completely incomprehensible.”
“We reached an agreement for him to continue with Barça until the end of the Champions League. He’s an important player that could help us. But he didn’t come back after a mini-break. It’s an unacceptable act of indiscipline. And for that reason, we have opened disciplinary proceedings because there’s no argument to justify his absence. He called and he said: ‘I won’t come back, I am staying in Brazil.’ It’s his decision. No one gave him permission.”
“Arthur was a good player, and he should’ve stayed with us till the end of the season just like Pjanić did with Juventus. The Arthur-Pjanić swap was a sporting decision. Arthur was a good player, but not indisputable. Going to Juventus, he is tripling his salary. We favoured Pjanić, as we have been following him for a long time. He was always excited about the chance of coming to Barça. This isn’t a surprise signing. He’s going to be an important player for us.”