At some point, there won’t be any time left for Juventus’ front office and management team to kick the can down the road. The season has just about two months left, and while contracts will have another six weeks tacked onto them until the end of June, there’s only a certain amount of time left for Juventus to renew the soon-to-be expiring contracts.
One of those players’ future may have already been decided.
And it’s the most notable name of them all.
According to Friday’s edition of La Gazzetta dello Sport, Juventus are prepared to let star striker Paulo Dybala, the biggest name of all those players with contracts expiring in June, walk come the summer transfer window. That means, the contract extension watch that we’ve been under for the better part of the last two years will, at long last, come to an end — albeit not with the kind of end result that many Juve supporters won’t be all that in favor of seeing go down.
Now, this is the first kind of reporting that says Juventus will part with Dybala — and, by the way, La Gazzetta adds that they’re targeting the likes of Jorginho, Paul Pogba and Antonio Rudiger this coming summer — so who knows how much is behind it.
But, with that being said, this is something that has been drawn out for months and the likelihood of Dybala leaving only grows by the day with no contract extension signed or even a meeting scheduled. This is not a case like Juan Cuadrado where a new deal seems only routine and is basically a given knowing how little drama there is surrounding the Colombian’s contract extension. When it comes to Dybala and the contract extension talks that have gone on since early 2020 and have had more twists and turns than anybody would have liked, more flights back and forth between Argentina and Italy for Dybala’s agent during a pandemic than anybody would have liked and just way too much talk surrounding a deal that still has yet to happen than anybody should want.
At this point, you can understand why Juventus doesn’t want to meet Dybala’s demands knowing that they are trying to both get younger and bring the payroll down. And you can also understand why Dybala and his agent, Jorge Antun, are pretty frustrated with the situation knowing that there was essentially a handshake agreement months ago only for the Juventus front office to backtrack on it.
In Friday’s edition of the Corriere dello Sport, Juve CEO Maurizio Arrivabene had this to say about Dybala’s current contract situation:
“Nothing has been decided yet (on Dybala’s contract extension), it’s not guaranteed. It depends on financial parameters and how he will act in the negotiations.”
(Source: Fabrizio Romano on Twitter)
Here’s what Juve VP Pavel Nedved said prior to Wednesday night’s Champions League elimination at the hands of Villarreal regarding Dybala’s current contract situation:
“We’re not worried about losing Dybala on a free transfer. “We have five players out of contract in June — and we decided to discuss their contracts later this year, and they’ve accepted.”
(Source: Fabrizio Romano on Twitter)
It is very much true that Juventus put off contract talks with all five of the soon-to-be free agents until after the showdown with Villarreal. (Can, you’ve been kicked down the road once again.) And you could understand why they chose do that, attempting to keep full focus on what was going to be on taking place on the field rather than potential off the field drama. That, in turn, caused a new round of speculation from Italian press because what else did you expect to happen.
While this Arrivabene’s words aren’t a direct confirmation of Tuttosport’s report from January regarding Juventus wanting the players on expiring deals to take a paycut if they are to re-sign with the club, there can be some sort of correlation made between the two pieces of information. We don’t exactly hear about the “financial parameters” often, but we did in this case.
Same goes for the fact that Arrivabene has stated that “it’s not guaranteed.”
As Gazzetta puts it, it’s bound to be an eventful summer for Juventus both in terms of departures and arrivals. And, as disappointing as it may be that it’s gotten to this point, we may well know at least one name who’s leaving.