Star striker Paulo Dybala has decided on a new club. The Argentine left Juventus, where he played for seven years, and signed a contract with Roma. Someone could be surprised by such a choice, because the capital club will not play in the Champions League next season. But other teams that claimed Dybala ended up in the most prestigious club tournament in Europe. We analyze the brightest summer transfer in Italy.
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Why Dybala left Juventus
After the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo, Dybala has become the main attacking star of the Turin club. However, this did not last long. At the end of the season, Paulo left Juve due to the expiration of his contract. The parties negotiated an extension of the agreement, but they were unsuccessful. In 2021, Juventus offered the player a contract with a solid salary (€ 11 million per year), but after a few months the situation changed. During the last round of negotiations, a completely different amount appeared – € 5.5 million.
As a result, Dybala left the team as a free agent. Without a doubt, this fact upset the management and fans of the Turin club. The market value of the Argentinean is € 35 million (data – Transfermarkt), and in such a situation it is extremely disappointing not to receive any compensation. Seven years ago, Juve laid out € 41 million for Dybala, and now they let him go (if such a word is applicable here) for free.
Paolo Dybala at Juventus
Photo: Stefano Guidi/Getty Images
Before the final home game of the season, Paulo wrote a farewell post on social media: “It’s hard to find the right words to say goodbye. I thought that we would be together with Juventus for much longer, but fate takes us on different roads. I will never forget everything that I experienced in this club. I will remember every game, every goal. With this club, I grew up, studied, lived and dreamed of the future. It was seven years of magic, 12 trophies and 115 goals that no one will erase from our memory. Never”.
After the game with Lazio (2: 2), Dybala could not hold back his tears during his farewell to the fans. Juventus head coach Massimiliano Allegri paid tribute to the player: “Paulo has been an important player for Juventus for seven years. He came here as a child and I feel like I helped him grow into that kind of player. Dybala has always demonstrated a consistent level of play and acted with passion. He’s got the respect he deserves from the fans.”
Which clubs applied for the player
At the end of May, the Argentine football player, when asked about the new club, said that he had not yet decided anything for himself. At the same time, Paulo stressed that he would choose the best option. Inter was considered the main contender for Dybala, who dreamed of poaching a star player. The general director of the Milan club, Beppe Marotta, expressed the hope that Paulo would be in the black and blue team. Famous Italian insider Fabrizio Romano wrote that Inter vice-president Javier Sanetti personally met with Dybala in London. The player was offered a contract under the “3 + 1” scheme with a salary of € 6 million per year.
In June, representatives of Inter were in regular negotiations with Dybala’s entourage. Marotta confirmed that the club is working on the transfer of the player, but it all depends on the financial situation. Argentine media reported that Dybala allegedly already agreed on all the details of the contract, but later Corriere dello Sport provided new information. According to the source, the parties have not reached a compromise on the player’s salary.
Dybala (Juventus) vs Inter
Photo: Marco Luzzani/Getty Images
Tottenham also considered the option of Dybala’s transfer. Club sporting director Fabio Paratici knows the Argentine very well, having previously worked for Juventus. He negotiated with the player, but the parties did not come to anything. According to the Daily Mail, the reason is the same – money. Paulo counted on a contract with a high salary (approximately € 330 thousand per week), but these conditions did not suit the representatives of the London club.
Milan also wormed its way into the contenders for Dybala. The Gazzetta dello Sport publication wrote about the interest of the Italian champion in the player after Inter returned Romelu Lukaku. Milan hoped that this circumstance would increase his chances of signing Dybala. The management of the Italian club was ready to offer a contract if the player reduced the financial requirements. Journalist Nicolo Schira later noted that Milan did not consider this option at all.
Napoli were listed as another contender for the striker. During the off-season, the club lost several leading players (Lorenzo Insigne, Kalidou Koulibaly, Dries Mertens) and hoped to add a star player to the roster. With the help of such a step, the Napoli management hoped to extinguish the anger of fans dissatisfied with the team’s work in the market. Neapolitan sporting director Cristiano Giuntoli said a move was not possible after contacting Dybala’s representatives.
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Why Dybala chose Roma
At the end of May, the legend of the Roman club Francesco Totti spoke highly of Paulo and offered the player a Roma shirt with the 10th number. Dybala called the Italian an idol and thanked him for the compliments. Then few people had the feeling that the Argentine would be in the capital of Italy. A month later, Totti, in an interview with Sky Sport Italia, said that the likelihood of signing a contract with the striker was minimal. “Now Dybala will play for another club. I hoped that he would go to Roma, – said the world champion.
In July, it became known that Roma and Napoli were bidding for the player. The Neapolitan club offered the player a higher salary, but José Mourinho played a key role. The Portuguese coach personally phoned Dybala and convinced him to sign a contract with the Roman club. Jose colorfully painted the project, which is now being built by the capital’s team. Paulo did not want to go to Naples, because he was embarrassed by the departure of the three Napoli leaders and passive work in the transfer market.
– The speed and determination with which Roma tried to get me played a decisive role. I’m joining a team that is on the rise. To a club that continues to lay a solid foundation for the future. And to coach José Mourinho, with whom it will be a great honor for me to work, – this is how Dybala commented on the transition to Roma.
Photo: Alex Pantling/Getty Images
It turns out that Mourinho deftly beat all the competitors. Juventus, Napoli and both Milan clubs will play in the Champions League next season, but Dybala has chosen a different team. Napoli offered the player more money, but he moved to the Roman club after talking with the Special. In the new season, Dybala will be out of the Champions League, but will play under a manager who desperately wanted to get him.