Paulo Dybala has been scoring for Juventus and he wants to stay at Juventus.
Any way you look at it, that’s good news for the Italian champions.
Dybala scored his fourth penalty in four matches to help Juventus beat FC Porto 1-0 and advance to the Champions League quarterfinals. It was his third goal in the European competition and 10th since the start of the year.
After Tuesday’s match, he said extending his contract with Juventus was just a formality.
“I will go talk now with my agent, who is waiting for me in Argentina,” said Dybala, who is considered one of the brightest young talents in world soccer. “We have already talked with the club. We are in agreement, so there is the yes on both parts. It will arrive soon.”
The 23-year-old Argentine has had a fantastic two seasons at Juventus since joining from Palermo for 32 million euros (then $36 million) in June 2014. The club is expected to extend his contract by one year to 2021 and increase his salary to around the same level as Gonzalo Higuain – which would end speculation over potential moves to Barcelona and Real Madrid.
Juventus has won the domestic double the past two seasons. It is currently headed toward a record sixth straight Serie A title, while it holds a 3-1 advantage over Napoli heading into the second leg of the Italian Cup semifinals.
Dybala believes this could be the year Juventus emulates Inter Milan’s 2010 achievement of winning the treble.
“Since we started playing Champions League we knew that with the team we have we had to and we have to give our max to get to the final,” Dybala said. “It’s not easy because you’re facing teams which want the same thing we want, which are great teams, which have great players as we do. But we have to be aware we have the possibility, we have the team to get right to the final.”
Dybala is hoping to avoid Barcelona for as long as possible after the Catalan club’s incredible comeback to overturn a 4-0 first-leg deficit against Paris Saint-Germain to reach the quarterfinals.
“I think playing a one-off match against Barcelona could be easier than two matches because we saw what they did against PSG,” Dybala said. “We have to be ready to face whatever team we have in front of us.”
Juventus defender Dani Alves, who spent eight years at Barcelona, is also hoping to avoid his former side in Friday’s quarterfinal draw, but Juventus captain Gianluigi Buffon picked a different team.
“I would like to avoid Leicester because it is a dangerous team. A team which will have enthusiasm, a team which has the weapons to cause trouble for teams who want to take the initiative,” the veteran Italy goalkeeper said. “There would also be everything to lose against them.”