Dybala 'has never been on the market', but Pirlo signals end of Higuain's time at Juve
Gonzalo Higuain's time at Juventus is up, but Andrea Pirlo insists Paulo Dybala will be an important part of his plans in Turin.FotMob - 10 months ago
Paulo Dybala will be part of Andrea Pirlo's project at Juventus, but Gonzalo Higuain is set to leave the Serie A champions.
Pirlo was appointed as the successor to Maurizio Sarri following Juve's Champions League last-16 exit at the hands of Lyon, the former midfielder being promoted to the top job a week after being named the club's Under-23 boss.
Dybala was heavily linked with a move to Manchester United last year and transfer rumours around the Argentina international persist, with Barcelona said to be interested amid uncertainty over the future of Lionel Messi.
However, Pirlo insisted Juve have never been open to offers for Dybala, who will be a key part of his plans for the 2020-21 season.
"He has never been on the market, it is you [the media] who make these rumours," Pirlo said of Dybala when introduced to the media on Tuesday.
"For me, he is as important as the others. As soon as he returns [from the off-season] he will be part of the project."
While Dybala is set to remain in Turin, Pirlo confirmed Higuain will be allowed to leave and a decision on midfielder Sami Khedira will be taken once he returns from a thigh injury.
"I talked to Higuain. He is a person I admire very much. He had an important cycle here, he was a great player but in speaking with him we decided our roads must separate," said Pirlo.
"He was a great champion but cycles end. He was sidelined but as a serious person we spoke to each other to make this decision.
"As for Khedira, he is injured. We'll see when he gets better."
Sarri found it tough to combine Dybala and Cristiano Ronaldo effectively during his tenure and Pirlo believes compromise will be required in order for the duo to have the impact expected.
"Not all the boys are available. We are working in small groups. We will soon get on the pitch and prepare things," said Pirlo.
"Quality players can always play together, as long as there is sacrifice. The more quality players there are, the more chances there are to win – but always withing a team structure.
"Sacrifice and desire to work for the team go beyond everything."