GOAL - by Ignasi Oliva Gispert
The Brazil international will join Juventus this summer after a deal worth €72 million (£66m/$81m) plus up to €10m in bonuses was agreed in June, but his contract with Barcelona will run until the Champions League campaign is over.
He was expected back to undergo tests for Covid-19 this week and begin preparations for the second leg of the last-16 against Napoli on August 8, but he has notified the club that he will not return.
Barca have warned Arthur that he will be violating his contract and will face fines for his conduct, but he is standing firm and refuses to represent Quique Setien’s side again.
Arthur moved to Camp Nou from Gremio in a €40 million (£35m/$47m) deal in 2018. He has made 72 appearances in all competitions, 28 in 2019-20.
His playing time this season was limited by injury until he was dropped altogether, with his last appearance being a four-minute cameo against Celta Vigo in late June.
Two days after that match and the day Barca confirmed they had reached an agreement with Juventus, Arthur insisted he would give his all for the club for the remainder of the season.
“I know I'm going to belong to a big club; many challenges await us before we can be together with the Bianconeri,” he posted on social media.
Ringrazio per il grande interesse da parte della @juventusfc per l'integrazione alla società. Sò di andare ad appartenere ad un grande club; ci aspettano molte sfide da superare insieme ai bianconeri. pic.twitter.com/SN6ud64xie— Arthur Melo (@arthurhromelo) June 29, 2020
"Now I'm focused on the present, we have important goals in Barcelona and I will continue to the end giving everything, for my teammates and all the fans.”
His absence could pose problems for coach Setien, who will already be without Sergio Busquets and Arturo Vidal for the match against Napoli due to suspension.
While Arthur will head to Juventus ahead of next season, Bosnia-Herzegovina international midfielder Miralem Pjanic will move in the opposite direction in a €60m (£55m/$67m) deal.