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Arthur snub was a surprise for Barcelona, says Busquets

Arthur Melo, Barcelona
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Sergio Busquets admitted Arthur Melo not returning to Barcelona was a surprise, but hopes a swift resolution can be found for club and player.

Barcelona shocked everyone in June by confirming a deal to sell Arthur to Juventus for around €82m in exchange for Miralem Pjanic, who will cost them up to €65m.

Despite initially vowing to continue in giving his all for the Blaugrana, Arthur later refused to return from his native Brazil. He even informed the club of plans to never represent them again.

This stance recently drew criticism from none other than Josep Maria Bartomeu. The Barca president slammed Arthur’s actions as unacceptable and disrespectful to his teammates. However, he only made things worse at Camp Nou.

Although the former Gremio midfielder has reportedly just returned to Catalonia, but won’t be expected to wear a Blaugrana jersey again.

“It was a surprise to everyone that Arthur did not return,” said Busquets, according to Diario AS.

“Arthur’s situation has been difficult, but the only ones who know the situation are the player and the club.

“We know some of the news from what comes out, that he left and will now return, but we are on the sidelines and we hope they reach an agreement that will be the best for all.”

Arthur is unsurprisingly out of the squad for Barcelona’s second leg against Napoli on Saturday in the Champions League last-16, with the aggregate scoreline level at 1-1.

Busquets is also unavailable after triggering a suspension through a booking in the first leg.