FC Barcelona’s La Liga triumph last season was seen as a turning point for the financially troubled Catalan outfit.
Although the team is still working through a number of issues, the ability to compete and outlast perennial rivals Real Madrid was seen as a renaissance following the early exit from the Champions League.
In January, with the title challenge still in the balance, Barcelona manager Xavi wanted to sign another midfielder to bolster his team with a number of players picking up niggling injuries.
Before he set the wheels in motion, he spoke to some of his senior players to ask their advice on the signing, trusting their experience and instincts.
Sergio Busquets played a big role in stopping a transfer target who lived a “disorderly lifestyle”
According to the Barca Reservat podcast (via the Daily Mail), Busquets warned Xavi about signing a player he claimed lived a disorderly lifestyle.
Arthur Melo who played with Barca from 2018-2020 was a Premier League flop at Liverpool following his loan there from Juventus in 2022-23, and has been largely invisible for Fiorentina this season as well.
Busquets reportedly worried that Melo’s lifestyle would set a bad example for the young players and that the transfer would not be worth the trouble.
Barcelona have a number of young and impressive midfielders like Gavi and Pedri, and Busquets worried that Melo’s influence would derail their progress.
Melo’s career has largely gone downhill since leaving Barcelona for Juventus in the deal that saw Miralem Pjanic come the other way. Although he played early for Juventus, he soon became a rotational player rather than a first-team player. While at Liverpool he made just one substitute appearance and so far he’s only made a couple of appearances for Fiorentina.
It’s a shame because when he first came through at Barcelona having joined from Grêmio, it looked as though he’d go on to do great things, but it just never worked out. His time ended badly when he vowed he’d never kick another ball for Barcelona, but that was probably a good thing for the Spanish side.