Juventus director Maurizio Arrivabene admits the Bianconeri had reached an agreement to extend Paulo Dybala’s contract ‘but then things changed’ and insists they hadn’t reached an agreement with Dusan Vlahovic’s agent before talking to Fiorentina.
The Old Lady is facing one of the most difficult moments of the season after a 3-0 loss against Villarreal in the Champions League. The Bianconeri have been eliminated from the Round of 16 for the third successive season.
“This season’s target was to qualify for the Round of 16 and finish in the top four. The elimination was disappointing but didn’t change our plans,” Arrivabene told Il Corriere dello Sport newspaper.
“We start a new chapter, we have a three-year plan where we need to balance sporting and economic results.”
Juventus had a tough start to the season with just two points collected in the opening four games but managed to climb the table reaching the top four. They were one of the busiest clubs in the January transfer window with the signings of Denis Zakaria and Dusan Vlahovic, while Rodrigo Bentancur and Dejan Kulusevski joined Antonio Conte’s Tottenham.
“We signed Vlahovic and Zakaria thinking about this and next season. There were movements of foreign clubs around Dusan and we thought that had we waited for the summer, we wouldn’t be as competitive as English and Spanish clubs,” explained Arrivabene.
“We verified if it was possible to sign him immediately and how we could make the investment sustainable with potential sales. We made an official bid for Fiorentina and got the green light from them and the player’s agents.
“It’s not true that we had already reached an agreement with his representative. That’s fake news. We only made our move following Fiorentina’s green light. The player only wanted Juventus. If we had agreed with the player before talking to Fiorentina, we would have been in the same situation, and Fiorentina could have raised the price. We followed the rules.”
The 22-year-old replaced Cristiano Ronaldo, who had left Turin in the summer.
“I saw a motivated Ronaldo on the first days of the pre-season. I thought he’d stay, but then he took a different decision and we know what happened.”
How about Andrea Agnelli? Many fans accused him of being distracted by the Super League.
“Not at all. It’s an issue that we can’t abandon and he keeps all of us informed. He lives Juventus totally, he arrives at the headquarters at 7.30 AM and is the last one to leave in the evening.”
Paulo Dybala sees his current deal expire in June 2022. The player’s agent was supposed to meet the Bianconeri last week, but the meeting was postponed. According to reports, the club informed Dybala’s representative about the date change only the day before. Juventus had reached an agreement over the striker’s contract extension at the end of 2021.
“True, we had reached an agreement, but things changed,” confirmed Arrivabene.
“We had a €400m cash injection which was needed to fix the balance sheet, not for the market. We made new assessments based on four factors: technical aspect, number of appearances, contract length and economic value of a single footballer.
“It wasn’t the day before, that’s what the media said. We decided to postpone the meeting because the coach wanted the team to be focused before the games against Genoa and Villarreal. Nothing is decided yet, let’s see what happens.”
Rinnovo Dybala, Arrivabene: "4 parametri da rispettare. Nulla è deciso, vediamo come si presenta" https://t.co/WcDThKnf7P
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