Friday December 18 2020
Dybala contract row: what happens now

As Paulo Dybala’s contract renewal remains suspended, Rocco Fasano looks at recent developments and scenarios that may be afoot to bring this matter to a conclusion.

Fallen-from-grace Argentine striker Paulo Dybala added some spice to his ongoing contract row with Juventus on Sunday, after the Bianconeri's victory over Genoa's Grifoni by three goals to one.

The attacker, hours after scoring his first Serie A goal in five months went on to criticize media about allegedly inflaming his contract situation, and bemoaned his club's inaction on the matter.

"My agent stayed in Turin for a long time but was never called. There's talk of numbers [regarding his renewal], but none of them are true. This is how fans are turned against me, I do few interviews, when they let me talk I do it and I always try to tell the truth".

Truthfully, rumours speculated that Dybala and his agent, Jorge Antun, made demands of €15m per season, while respectable sources stayed quiet on this point.

"My future? I love Juventus. I've always said it, I never speak but when they say things that are not true they make me angry, they say these things because they want to turn me against the fans", continued the Argentine attacker.

The very next day, Juventus president Andrea Agnelli was asked about Dybala's statements fires back:

“I heard with great pleasure Dybala's love for Juve. We see him as the next Juventus captain, he often has the captain's armband on his arm. It appears to me that he was already offered a contract that would place him among Europe's top 20 highest paid players. His love is reciprocated, both sentimentally and with strong gratitude. We are waiting for his response, but the most important thing is that he responds on the pitch. All parties wish that he finish in the top 5. At the moment he is not in the top 5 and he knows that".

Prior to the Atalanta game, Juventus' CFO Fabio Paratici said he will meet Dybala's representative "soon".

For now, however, Juventus' position seems clear: the offer will not improve. The proposal, however, was made before Dybala was proclaimed Serie A's 2019-20 Most Valuable Player in July 2020 and did not meet the Argentine's expectations.

This begs the question: what exactly was Jorge Antun doing in Turin for weeks on end? Visiting the Mole Antonelliana and the city's famed Egyptian Museum? Something doesn't add up.

The Scenarios

   1. Dybala Free Transferred

A solution, of course would be for the attacker to leave upon the expiry of his contract in June 2022.

A bitter divorce, with Dybala sidelined or, worse yet, relegated outside of the squad would see him miss key playing time at an important juncture of his career.

With a World Cup looming and plenty of competition in the Argentinian national team, this is an unlikely scenario.

Equally unlikely that Juventus will be okay with parting with a big asset like Dybala for nothing.

This scenario can be discarded.

   2. Dybala Transferred in 2021

Perhaps Antun's tourist experience in Turin was not due to Paulo's unhappiness with the offer in terms of remuneration, rather in terms of his role on the team.

It must be noted that since Ronaldo's arrival, things haven't been smooth sailing for the Argentine.

Whether Dybala is not convinced about remuneration or role, he may decide to leave in January or July 2021 and look to integrate into a new team, make an impression, and play his last World Cup in 2022 (at 29) as a protagonist.

Juventus, on the other hand, may be looking to move Dybala and cash in while they can before the situation becomes more cumbersome, which would make the player lose even more value.

Fantasy-style rumours have recently surfaced about the possibility of former Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba making his way back to Turin, while the Bianconeri would leverage a trade route that would have sent Dybala to Manchester, with Lukaku going the other way in the summer of 2019.

   3. Dybala Renews

There is, of course, a happy ending scenario to a thorny story that would see Juventus and the player find a middle ground and extend his contract until 2024 or 2025, when Dybala will turn 30 or 31.

This, of course, would not preclude the striker from being sold before the end of that extended contract, but it would buy Juventus some "insurance" on Dybala's price.

When one has no power, one takes their time. Dybala now has to bide his time, dig deep, and perform.

Only then he can make a business case for an improved offer. Agnelli himself said it that his ambition is to be the top 5, but his performances are not matching his salary ambition.

Therefore, Dybala will step away from the table, and postpone talks until his performances match that.

Juve's interest, on the other hand, are to pressure the player to re-sign for a longer contact at a "lower" salary than he wishes.

Dybala's comments in Genoa were an unsuccessful attempt at quieting the issue. Rather, it produced the opposite effect and it surely didn’t make the club happy. Maybe it is no coincidence Andrea Pirlo threw him in only for the last ten minutes against Atalanta on Wednesday.

A renewal, for now, remains the most likely solution. For this to take place, however, for his good and that of the club, he needs to find his form again - starting with the remaining seven games of Serie A's opening round.

Have your say...
Dybala is capable of magic now + then and I'm not sure he has been played in best circumstance last two years BUT a player of this talent needs to impose themselves on the game. All this talk of struggling to match up with CR7 is silly- Dybala could (should) have 10+ assists playing with Ronaldo, AND benefit from the defensive focus other teams need to give CR7. Time for Dybala to show real desire to be a top player.
on the 19th December, 2020 at 7:45pm
I think Ronaldo's arrival was the start of the end for Dybala. Time for him to move on to a team that would appreciate him.
on the 19th December, 2020 at 5:32pm
Mark, I'm not sure you can call last season's MVP for Serie A overrated. There is always this expectation that Dybala should be the next Messi, but very few if any players can reach Messi's level. Adapting to partnering Ronaldo takes some adjustment for players, as was the case with Dybala in his first season with Ronaldo. Since he had a bad bout of Covid, the injury to his thigh before the end of last season, and the virus/gastro issues wilst with Argentina have severely hampered his season.
on the 19th December, 2020 at 7:53am
Dybala frustrates me too. As much as i like him he is not very adaptable and therein lies his downfall... the "systems" nowadays are geared towards high flying full backs and wingers and less towards of his natural positions.. the traditional trequartista / support striker. it has to be noted that dybala has to play second fiddle to ronaldo since he arrived as well
on the 18th December, 2020 at 10:24am
@William Gagnon

Napoli, Lyon or Leicester?

That would cut is value in half.

Leicester??? Really
on the 17th December, 2020 at 8:12pm
Well put Rocco. In this Pirlo system, I see him moving on most likely in July, but a possibility in January. When Ronaldo comes off the books, I expect another high profile signing from their favorite agent.
on the 17th December, 2020 at 8:00pm
If they don't value him at Juve - then I suggest he packs his bags and leaves. With Ronaldo being on such an astronomically ridiculous salary, and having to pay Sarri and Allegri off - no wonder there is no money left in the coffers to keep hold of a player like him. Maybe they should have thought twice about putting Ramsay on 400k a week as well!!
on the 17th December, 2020 at 5:04pm
@Mark I agree. He hasn't been that great to demand salary etc. Has he been good? Yes. Does he have the influence on the team like Messi or Papu (which he seems to want to adopt their playing style of free roaming and dropping deep)? NO WAY!!! He's nowhere near the level of either. Also his ball control = that of a U-15 academy player.
on the 17th December, 2020 at 4:10pm
I think, on the contrary Mark, that he's an exceptional player that's on the wrong side of a potentially incredible career. He's no prospect anymore and somehow, every season starts with Dybala out of form and unable to fit in "the system". He's definitely the player that could be a legend at a club where he could, himself, make the difference to turn them into champions. Just imagine, for a moment, having Dybala at Napoli, Lyon or Leicester.
on the 17th December, 2020 at 3:46pm
This has to be said: Dybala is highly overrated. What exactly has he done the last 3-4 seasons? Any other player would have been called a flop by now. He has not reached his potential and that potential is simply that. He's what, 25 now? I say ship him. There are dozens of players that can do what Dybala does. He's the next El Shaawary. All sizzle no steak.
on the 17th December, 2020 at 2:32pm

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