Maurizio Sarri remains unclear on the future of Paulo Dybala and has branded Juventus’ transfer policy “embarrassing” for leaving him with a bloated squad.
Argentina forward Dybala was tipped to join Manchester United in a part-exchange deal involving Romelu Lukaku this month, only for talks to break down.
It then looked as though he would move to Tottenham on the Premier League’s transfer deadline day on Thursday, but that deal also failed to materialise.
Juve are in an awkward situation ahead of the new season, with Sarri aware the squad must be trimmed following the arrivals of Matthijs de Ligt, Danilo, Luca Pellegrini, Merih Demiral, Adrien Rabiot, Aaron Ramsey and Gianluigi Buffon.
The head coach is concerned the club could be forced simply to leave several senior players off their 25-man ‘List A’ for the Champions League group stage if they are unable to sell them.
Sarri is therefore unsure of Dybala’s future and appeared to call into question a transfer process led by sporting director Fabio Paratici that has brought them to this point.
Interrupting a question about transfers after his side lost 2-1 to Atletico Madrid in the International Champions Cup on Saturday, he said: “I sometimes wonder when I read things: Sarri’s decisions, Paratici’s decisions…
“We have to cut six players from the Champions League squad. I’ve not read this anywhere. If we don’t, the choices we have are crazy.
“The last 20 days of the market will be difficult for us. It’s a difficult, embarrassing situation, because we risk leaving top players out of the squad list.
“It’s a situation we have to resolve, and it’s not strictly connected to the choices of the coach or club.
“All the assessments on Dybala are premature. He did two training sessions; he did half an hour today. He clearly can’t be in top physical condition and this also affects what he can do as a false nine. I think he has the attributes and the goals to play in that role.
“I can talk, but the market goes in a certain direction and what I say counts for zero. Six have to be cut, depending on the market. I’d like to keep them all; our problem is we don’t have enough home-grown players, so our squad for the Champions League will be 22 players, plus three goalkeepers, and this puts us in difficulty because the market will perhaps lead us to make choices we don’t want to make.”