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'Dybala is fundamental' - Juventus confirm contract talks with Argentine star

06:12 GMT+3 09/02/2020
Paulo Dybala Juventus 2019-20
The Italian club are eager to lock down their star Argentine attacker by the end of the season

Juventus sporting director Fabio Paratici confirmed the Serie A giants had started contract talks with attacker Paulo Dybala.

Dybala, 26, is enjoying a good season for Juve despite being linked with a move away from Turin, scoring 11 goals in 29 games in all competitions.

The Argentina international is contracted until 2022, and Paratici said Juve had already started talks regarding a new deal for Dybala.

"He's the Juventus number 10. He is fundamental. We know what value he has and what he represents," Paratici told DAZN before Juve's 2-1 loss to Hellas Verona in Serie A on Saturday.

"In the coming months, we will talk to him.

"We have already had some initial discussions before January and agreed to talk nearer to the end of the season."

Juventus are top of the table and three points clear of Inter, who face AC Milan in a derby clash on Sunday.

Dybala was strongly linked with a move to Tottenham last summer with the player himself admitting recently just how close he was to leaving the reigning Serie A champions.

"I was close to leaving. That was in the club's thinking, I knew. Until the last minute, we were waiting," Dybala told The Guardian in January.

"I have two years left on my contract. That's not a short time but it's not a long one either. We'll see what plans Juventus have, if they think I might leave in the next market or if they want me to stay.

"That's a decision for the club to make. It's hard to know because things change in a second.

"But I'm here, at a club that has treated me well. I'm happy, comfortable. [Maurizio] Sarri's arrival has helped. He wanted me to stay, which gave me strength when we didn't know what would happen. I knew he could teach me, help me bring out the best in myself."

While Sarri is a big fan of Dybala, he's struggled at times to incorporate the Argentine into his starting side this season. 

“Leaving Paulo Dybala out is practically blasphemy, but we have so many strong attacking players and can’t use them all at once," Sarri said earlier this month. 

"The balance of the team is essential and against Fiorentina, Gonzalo Higuain was more useful.

“If we were to use all four together, it would end up sacrificing many of the positive characteristics of these players. For example, it’d be a waste to use Cristiano Ronaldo on the wing.”