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Andrea Pirlo has moved to downplay rumors about Paulo Dybala’s future at Juventus by underscoring the forward’s importance to the club.
The Argentine international was reportedly on the verge of leaving Turin for the summer, with Manchester United and Tottenham discussed as possible destinations.
Despite a transfer not materializing, speculation about the 27-year-old has refused to fade, with 90min understanding that the top six in the Premier League have been alerted to their availability.
Dybala has struggled to maintain a place in Juve’s starting XI this season, and Pirlo allowed him just five Serie A starts. However, when asked if the former Palermo player was viewed as an important member of the team, the Bianconeri coach couldn’t have been more definitive in his response.
He said: “Absolutely. Champions like him are always fundamental in strong teams,” Pirlo told reporters (via Daily mail). “I coach all the players. Dybala is one of them. His behavior is great.”
Dybala missed his team’s 4-0 victory over Parma in Serie A on Saturday through injury, a victory that keeps Pirlo’s men close behind leader Milan, though the Juve manager confirmed he hopes have it available for selection soon.
“Unfortunately, he had this little injury and he tried to force it, but he was worried that he would hurt himself even more. We hope to have him back on Tuesday.”
With the January transfer window on the horizon, it remains to be seen if Pirlo’s comments will detract from potential buyers. The Argentine recently claimed that his ‘dream’ was to win the Champions League with Juventus, something that no Juve team has achieved since their triumph in 1996.
Since joining the Old Lady in 2015, Dybala has made 169 league appearances for the club, scoring 69 goals. However, the arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo has dropped him into the hierarchical order in Turin and he has scored just two goals this season.