Paulo Dybala is set to leave Juventus as a free agent when the season ends and the arrival of Dusan Vlahovic has been revealed as the reason for his imminent departure. The 28-year-old and his representatives were locked in negotiations with the Bianconeri for a contract extension but will now have to look elsewhere after both parties failed to reach an agreement.
Dybala has been in talks with Juve over a new deal for some time now as the forward enters the last months of his current contract. The Argentine has been on the books of the Turin club since 2015 and has been crucial to their success story, scoring 113 goals in 283 appearances.
With both the fans and the club's hierarchy pleased with Dybala's service, there was general consensus that he will be offered a new deal to stay at the club beyond the seven years he has spent there. Up until now, talks had progressed smoothly although there was still a big difference between the demands by both parties.
According to Italian publication La Gazzetta , the meeting between Dybala's entourage and the Juventus representatives for his renewal lasted about two hours and no agreement was reached after the latter allegedly changed the terms of their offer. CEO of the club Maurizio Arrivabene subsequently stated on Monday night that the decision taken was due to the fact that the Argentine is not central to the club's project anymore following the arrival of Dusan Vlahovic.
"The most important change is that Juventus have not renewed Paulo Dybala's contract," he said. "With the market I reiterated this, the approach was sincere.
"With the purchases made in January, with the arrival of Vlahovic, Paulo's position was no longer at the centre of the project. That's why this kind of decision was preferred.
"The parameters were different, I had already spoken about it, no one has ever questioned Paulo's ability. There were considerations to be made about appearances, length and financial considerations.
"We made our choices in January, we got here. It would have been easy for Juventus to make a low bid, but it would have been disrespectful towards Paulo. The decision is made. Today's meeting was friendly, clear and respectful."
Paulo Dybala's brother, Gustavo Dybala, later published an instagram story with the word "Incredible!", subtly alluding to the disappointment felt by their memebers of their camp. The Juve star had previously been a target for Barcelona, Manchester United, Inter Milan and Tottenham, and where he will be headed next remains to be seen.