Juventus head coach Andrea Pirlo has confirmed he is keen to keep hold of Paulo Dybala amid rumours the forward could be on his way to the Premier League in the summer transfer window.
A serious knee injury had kept Dybala sidelined since mid-January but the 27-year-old came off the bench to score what proved to the winner in a 2-1 victory over Napoli on his triumphant return last night.
There had been speculation mounting that this year may well be the Argentine’s last in Turin, given he has just over a year remaining on his current contract with the Serie A champions.
Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham have all been circling and talk of Dybala’s possible departure intensified after he was fined and suspended for breaking Covid-19 regulations to attend an illegal lockdown party with Arthur Melo and Weston McKennie.
However, Pirlo spoke in glowing terms about Dybala after his crucial second-half strike against Napoli and insisted the attacking midfielder remains a key part of his plans for the future.
‘When you have a player like Dybala at your disposal, you always try to let him play. We’ve almost never had him,’ Pirlo told Sky Sport Italia.
‘When you miss someone like this, it becomes difficult, and when he comes back he helps you win.
‘He still has a year on his contract. We hope to be able to keep him.’
Spanish publication Sport last month claimed that Arsenal had identified Dybala as a plan B option should they fail to secure a permanent agreement for Real Madrid loanee Martin Odegaard.
The Gunners were said to be ‘on the prowl’ for the Argentina international with the club languishing down in tenth in the Premier League and Mikel Arteta desperate to strengthen for the new season.
But it appears Arsenal may have to drop their interest in Dybala and look elsewhere and AC Milan’s Hakan Calhanoglu, who could be available on a free transfer this summer, is the latest player to be linked.
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