Barcelona’s head coach Quique Setien has been talking to Arthur about the future of the midfielder but is depending on him for the rest of the season.

During a campaign that saw him sidelined due to injury, Arthur made 23 appearances in all competitions, though that did not stop speculation that he could be on the move.

The Brazil international has been linked to a move to Juventus, possibly heading in the opposite direction with Miralem Pjanic.

Setien declined to address speculation regarding the long-term future of the 23-year-old at Camp Nou, but then made it clear that he remains part of his plans ahead of a return to La Liga action. Barca faces Real Mallorca on Saturday after a lengthy break triggered by the coronavirus pandemic, which is also expected to have an impact on the transfer market as clubs struggle with the financial consequences of the health crisis.

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“It’s true we’ve talked about something, but not too much. The current circumstances differ from the usual circumstances and will affect the market. As for the players, I’m clear that I count on all those who are currently in the squad and I need everybody because there will be a lot of games. I prefer not to speak out on outside rumors,” Setien said at his pre-match media conference on Friday when asked about Arthur.

Arthur made clear his wish to stay back in April with Barcelona; he had previously been suggested as a transfer target for Inter.

He said in a statement sent to Mundo Deportivo: “There will always be speculation but, honestly, my idea is very straightforward. I’m just interested in staying in Barcelona.”

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