Barcelona have reportedly held talks with Juventus over a potential swap deal involving midfielders Miralem Pjanic and Rodrigo Bentancur.
According to a report from Gerard Romero of RAC1, La Liga giants Barcelona could be set for another player exchange deal with outgoing Serie A champions Juventus this summer, with a swap between Miralem Pjanic and Rodrigo Bentancur being mooted.
Pjanic arrived at Barcelona only last summer, in what was essentially a player-swap deal that saw Arthur Melo switch Camp Nou for the Allianz Stadium. However, it would be fair to say that the move has not worked out for any of the parties involved as things stand. While Arthur has struggled with injuries in Turin, Pjanic has been out of favour under Ronald Koeman in Catalonia.
Indeed, the Bosnian international has featured just 28 times across all competitions for Barcelona so far in 2020/21, starting just six La Liga games in the process. The 31-year-old finds himself behind the likes of Sergio Busquets, Frenkie de Jong, Pedri and even Ilaix Moriba in the pecking order at Camp Nou, leading to his future at the club being questioned.
Hace unas semanas Barça y Juventus plantearon un posible intercambio de cromos con dos futbolistas
Pjanic de vuelta a Turín
Betancur a Barcelona
De momento la operación está parada. Pero los dos clubes dejan puerta abierta a movimientos este verano pic.twitter.com/3N5aNZdFRU
— Gerard Romero (@gerardromero) May 10, 2021
Reports of late have mentioned that Barcelona are looking to offload Pjanic this summer and have offered his services to fellow La Liga club Atletico Madrid. In addition to that, the former AS Roma and Juventus midfielder is also courting interest from UEFA Champions League finalists Chelsea. However, now it is being claimed that a potential return to Turin could very well be on the cards for the veteran.
As per the update from Romero, Barcelona recently discussed the possibility of trading Pjanic back to Juventus in exchange for Rodrigo Bentancur in the summer transfer window. Bentancur has been with the Bianconeri since 2017, having joined from Boca Juniors and has grown into a permanent fixture in the middle of the park at the Allianz Stadium over the past couple of seasons.
Till date, Bentancur has featured 152 times for Juventus, racking up three goals and 15 assists. While he has had a difficult 2020/21 campaign, the Uruguayan has shown that he has what it takes to takes at the highest level used in the right tactical setup and has even been linked with a move to reigning La Liga champions Real Madrid as well.
Someone who is adept at breaking up play in the middle of the park and backs it up with quality on the ball, the 23-year-old has the potential to be the ideal long-term replacement for Sergio Busquets at Barcelona, given as the Spanish international is entering the final phase of his career. As of now, talks between Barcelona and Juventus have been put on hold but the door is left open for talks to take place in the summer, as per Romero.
It remains to be seen if the two clubs do decide to engage in a swap deal involving Pjanic and Bentancur come summer or whether Barcelona look elsewhere to replace Busquets in the long run.