Barcelona embroiled in row over ‘illegal swap’ involving Pjanic and Mello

Barcelona and Juventus have been hit with claims that the swap deal that saw Miralem Pjanic and Arthur Mello swap clubs last summer was illegal.

Arthur moved to Juventus for €72million and an additional €10m in variables whilst Pjanic moved to Barcelona for €60m and a maximum €5m in potential add-ons.

It was a deal that raised eyebrows at the time – and looks set to be scrutinised again in the coming weeks.

Investigative journalist Romain Molina has claimed that the double deal, which was looked into as part of an investigation into capital gains on the transfer market, is allegedly illegal.

Capital gains refers to the profit gained from selling an asset, referring to the difference between a higher selling price and the lower cost price.

Although it would seem as though only €10m exchanged hands between the two sides, but this isn't actually the case.

A player's transfer fee is spread out across the length of their contract for accounting purposes, which would mean that Juventus actually pocketed a capital gain of €41.8 million; despite the fact that the actual difference in the valuations of the duo was €12m.

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It's the latest unsavoury headline for Barcelona, who have had their financial issues well documented over the past few months.

The Catalan giants are still reeling from paying the ultimate price for their cash crisis in the summer, with Lionel Messi forced out of the Nou Camp due to a registration issue.

Meanwhile, Pjanic has barely featured since he arrived in Spain.

The Bosnian midfielder made just 19 appearances in La Liga last term and was promptly farmed out on loan to Turkish side Besiktas this summer on a season-long loan deal.

He's managed to put his rotten spell in Spain behind him in Turkey though, contributing four assists in just eight league games.

That from has led to Besiktas president Ahmet Nur Cebi revealing that he'd love to strike a permanent deal for the 31-year-old; which would be an intriguing twist to events.

Melo has also struggled to make an impact at his new club and has made just four appearances in Serie A for Juve this season.

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