Barcelona midfielder Miralem Pjanic arrives in UAE ahead of expected move to Sharjah

Former Roma and Juventus star is understood to have been offered a two-year contract

Barcelona midfielder Miralem Pjanic attends a training session on 2 September, 2022. The Bosnian is in UAE to mull over a transfer to Adnoc Pro League side Sharjah. EPA
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Barcelona midfielder Miralem Pjanic has arrived in the UAE, where he is expected to finalise a deal with Adnoc Pro League side Sharjah.

The Bosnia and Herzegovina international, 32, touched down in Dubai early on Wednesday. He is understood to be assessing an offer of a two-year contract with the six-time UAE champions.

Pjanic did not train with Barcelona on Tuesday ahead of the club's Uefa Champions League opener against Viktoria Plzen on Wednesday. The former Roma and Juventus midfielder reportedly waived the remaining two years of his Barcelona contract, meaning he will not receive any financial compensation from the Camp Nou club.

At Tuesday’s press conference to preview the Champions League match with Plzen, Barcelona manager Xavi said: " I like [Miralem] as a player and a person, but he had a decision in his hands to leave in order to play more and I understand that perfectly. He wants to play more minutes.

"He’s been a fantastic professional. I think he could help us. But everyone chooses their path."

Pjanic, who signed for Barcelona from Juventus in 2020 for €60 million ($59.5m), had been linked last week with a move to Saudi Arabia’s Al Nassr, whose manager Rudi Garcia coached him at Roma.

However, Nassr are believed to have completed their transfer business for this window. Pjanic was rumoured also to be contemplating offers from Ligue 1 sides Marseille and Nice.

Having won four Serie A titles with Juventus, Pjanic made only 30 appearances for Barcelona, all of which came during his first campaign at the club. He spent last season on loan at Turkish side Besiktas, playing 26 times across competitions.

Sharjah, who won the most recent of their UAE championships in 2019, began the 2022/23 Adnoc Pro League on Saturday with a 2-0 win away to Shabab Al Ahli. New signing Paco Alcacer scored the second, on his debut.

Updated: September 07, 2022, 6:25 AM
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