BARCELONA star Arthur Melo faces legal action after refusing to return to training before the resumption of their Champions League campaign.

Club president Josep Maria Bartomeu has accused the 23-year-old of showing a “lack of respect” towards his team-mates.

Arthur has agreed to join Juventus at the end of the season and has now gone Awol from Barcelona

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Arthur has agreed to join Juventus at the end of the season and has now gone Awol from BarcelonaCredit: Getty Images – Getty

Barcelona’s squad are back in training ahead of Saturday’s last-16 showdown against Napoli.

But they will be without Arthur as he has decided to stay in Brazil – without the club’s permission.

Arthur has already agreed to join Italian giants Juventus in a deal worth £66million in July.

However, the deal does not go through until the end of the season and the club have opened a legal file against him.

During an interview with Sport, Bartomeu said: “What Arthur has done shows a lack of respect for his team-mates because the team wants to do well in the Champions League.

“It is not logical that playing for such an important title, a player decides to remove himself.

“It is unjustifiable and totally incomprehensible.

“We reached the agreement that until the Champions League ended he would continue playing for Barca, both in the league and in the Champions League.

“He is a player who has a certain importance in the team and who could help us.”

Before he added: “But he did not appear from the return of the mini-vacations.

“It is an unacceptable act of discipline.

“And that is why we have opened a file for him, because there is no argument to justify his absence.

“He called and said, ‘I will not return, I will stay in Brazil’.

“It is his decision. No one has given him permission.”

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