Barcelona have contacted the agent of Roma central midfielder Miralem Pjanic and look set to activate the Bosnian midfielder’s release clause of €38m. The midfielder has also been linked with a number of top clubs in Italy and England.
Spanish daily Mundo Deportivo claim that amid interest from the likes of Juventus, Chelsea and Manchester United, Catalan giants Barcelona are in pole position to sign 26-year-old creative midfielder Miralem Pjanic in the summer. The Bosnia & Herzegovina international reportedly has a release clause in his contract that the La Liga champions will look to activate.
According to Calciomercato, Barcelona director Ariedo Braida is in constant contact with Pjanic’s agent Michael Becker in a bid to speed up negotiations. Braida has many contacts in Italy and Rome due to his past experience with AC Milan, and this could prove to be an instrumental negotiations.
The state of competition
Earlier it seemed that Juventus were considering Pjanic for the midfield among various other options, but the Old Lady has failed to come up with anything concrete. Juve director Beppe Marotta has spoken of his reluctance to trigger Pjanic’s release clause on one occasion. That coupled with the fact that Roma seem more inclined towards selling the midfielder abroad than in Italy could be decisive in bringing the former Lyon player to Catalonia.
It was also thought that Chelsea, having been rebuffed in their attempts to lure Pjanic’s teammate Radja Nainggolan after the Belgian committed his future to Roma, would turn towards the Bosnian. However, the two midfielders are vastly different from each other, with Nainggolan more of a hard-tackling midfield option that would suit Conte’s style better.
There are reports that Pjanic’s release clause could further drop to just €28m next year, but Pjanic’s suitors seem reluctant to wait another year for his services. As a result, Roma are looking to make a giant profit, having secured the Bosnian for just €11m in 2011 from Lyon.
The move would make sense for both parties involved as Roma would prefer to sell Pjanic abroad rather than losing him to Serie A rivals Juventus. As far as Barcelona are concerned, Pjanic’s playing style is most suitable to the way Barcelona play — with short passes in tight spaces. In fact, over the years, Pjanic has earned the nickname of the ‘Bosnian Iniesta’ among fans. It would seem now that the ‘Bosnian Iniesta’ is on his way to Camp Nou to become the understudy and eventual replacement of Andres Iniesta.