Miralem Pjanic has been at the centre of controversy back home in Bosnia in recent days according to a report in Diario AS. The former Barcelona midfielder, currently on loan at Besiktas, was pictured drinking and smoking hookah, allegedly the night before Bosnia’s decisive World Cup qualifier with Finland. They lost 3-1 and the playmaker put in a poor 70-minute performance.
Several Bosnian newspapers published that Pjanic was punished for his behaviour and expelled from the national team, thus missing yesterday’s 2-0 defeat at the hands of Ukraine. However, sources close to the player said that he was allowed to leave the camp by coach Ivajlo Petev as Bosnia could no longer qualify. They also claim that the photos are several years old.
Pjanic, therefore, could return to Turkey and resume his loan with Besiktas. He’s began well, contributing four assists in eight games. Besiktas are sixth in the league table, ten points behind pace-setters Trabzonspor and three off a Champions League place. The president of the club, Ahmet Nur Cebi, has revealed he’d like to buy Pjanic, although added the caveat that it depends on the conditions Barcelona attach to the deal.
Pjanic is valued at €18m by Transfermarkt, and still commands respect in the game despite a poor spell at Barcelona. He joined the Catalan club from Juventus in the summer of 2020, a mysterious part-exchange that saw Brazilian midfielder Arthur go the other way. Despite coming to the club as a serial title-winner, he figured for just 619 minutes in La Liga during 2020/21.