Maurizio Sarri Talks Paulo Dybala, Possible Juventus Sales Amid Transfer Rumours

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistAugust 11, 2019

Juventus' head coach Maurizio Sarri reacts during the International Champions Cup football match between Atletico Madrid v Juventus on August 10, 2019 in Solna outside Stockholm, Sweden. (Photo by Jonathan NACKSTRAND / AFP)        (Photo credit should read JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images)
JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/Getty Images

Juventus manager Maurizio Sarri declined the chance to offer forward Paulo Dybala some certainty over his future on Saturday, saying the squad needs to be trimmed down before the end of the transfer window.

Dybala has been linked with a move throughout the summer, with Manchester United and then Tottenham Hotspur tipped as possible destinations. Per Football Italia, Paris Saint-Germain are also interested, with the French outfit said to be in "advanced negotiations" regarding the possible sale of Neymar.

The Argentina international made his return to the Juventus team for their pre-season friendly with Atletico Madrid on Saturday, and Sarri said he thinks Dybala has a number of positive attributes, per Goal:

"He's done two training sessions and today he played half an hour. t's clear he can't be in top physical condition and the fact he's not fit means he can't play the false nine role.

"But I think he has the ability, and has scored the goals previously, to play there and a technically good player can play in a number of roles. When he's fit we'll see if he can play that role in the penalty box."

Sarri was then asked about possible sales, with Juventus needing to select a 22-man squad for the UEFA Champions League. He said what he says to Dybala "counts for zero" and that "the market goes in a certain direction." He continued:

"I would like to keep all of them but our problem is that we do not have players who have grown up within the club—we have only one. So our squad for the Champions League must be 22 players with three goalkeepers and this puts us in difficulty because the market dictates we may have to make choices that we don't like."

Here is more of what Sarri had to say:

Dybala was making his first appearance of pre-season, having been given extra time off following his involvement in the Copa America with Argentina.

He is one of a number of players who will be vying for the forward berth Sarri mentioned. Cristiano Ronaldo, Mario Mandzukic and Gonzalo Higuain will all be hoping to force their way into the starting XI too.

Sarri's style of football would appear to suit Dybala, as the former Napoli and Chelsea boss demands dynamic work off the ball and a high level of technical ability in possession. Per broadcaster Mina Rzouki, it was consequently a surprise to see the club look to sell the ex-Palermo star:

Four players are jostling for the striker position, so selling one would make sense. While Dybala could theoretically operate as a winger, the 25-year-old has always done his most effective work in the middle.

If he were to move on, Juventus would be left with three veteran centre-forwards in Ronaldo, Mandzukic and Higuain. Even so, you sense Dybala will need to impress Sarri in the coming days if he's to remain in Turin.

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