Even more curious is the apparent apathy outside of Italy. Dybala, the player who previously captured the imagination of Manchester United, Tottenham, Barcelona and Real Madrid, received only one serious offer from abroad, from Sevilla, the great collector of the mercurial Argentine strikers. The catch is that it comes with significant pay cuts. One of the best players in Italy is available for free and most of Europe barely blinked.
This is partly due to Dybala himself. His salary expectations rule out the vast majority of clubs. His track record of injuries may give others a breather. His form over the last couple of years has been a bit inconsistent, although he would no doubt point out that Juventus have hardly played in a way that could bring the best out of him.
This, in fact, may be the most appropriate factor. In an age where most teams play with some version of the attacking trident – two wingers push in, one center forward used to create space – Dybala has no natural home.
In terms of inclinations and character, he is number one. 10, a position that has practically ceased to exist in modern football. Even Juventus, where the role – like the number – has a certain “weight”, as one of the club’s leaders said this year, is abolishing it. Now in elite football there is no place for what in Italian football has long been called a fantasy. Dybala could be last in line.
But the uncertainty Dybala finds himself in is also part of a larger trend. Italian football is becoming more and more an isolated ecosystem, a whole world. It’s not just that Italian players generally don’t leave Italy: just four members have called up Roberto Mancini’s team for a month-long meeting with Argentina, the so-called Finalissima, played outside Serie A, the same number as he has called. to their Euro 2020 winning squad. The fact is that the coaches of the country also travel less and less. Carlo Ancelotti may have won another Champions League less than a month ago and Antonio Conte may have helped Tottenham reclaim their place in the European elite, but those are the exceptions rather than the rule.