For those who only watch Italian football from afar, the propensity for players to move directly from one rival to the next can seem bizarre. Italian football culture, though, has long since accepted that many stars have played for all of the ‘big three’ in Milan, Internazionale, and Juventus. Well, this summer looks set to add another player to that list as Paulo Dybala looks set to now join Inter.
The Nerazzurri have long been linked with a shock move for the Argentine, but it was often seen as nothing more than paper talk. Now, though, Juve have stepped back from negotiations and Dybala leaves for nothing in the summer of 2022. Inter, keen to land a player who has played most of his senior career in Italy, and who already have a strong Argentine contingent, could see Dybala as the perfect addition.
Dybala is a lethal forward with excellent overall technique and vision. He would be the ideal replacement, too, for a potential exit from some of the veteran forwards on the Inter books. The arrival of Dybala would also give Inter another star player to build around, helping to rebound from the loss of stars like Romelu Lukaku and Achraf Hakimi.
Why is Dybala leaving Juventus?
Put simply, the player and club have not seen eye to eye for some time. The forward was supposed to be signed as the Bianconeri’s answer to a star like Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo. However, the arrival of the Portuguese just as Dybala was reaching his best form in Turin naturally knocked some noses out of joint. The player felt let down by the club, but until late 2021 was still keen to agree a new deal in Turin.
The exit of Ronaldo had seen Dybala elevated once again to the role of protagonist, and sticking around in the city was seen as preferable. However, the change in the clubs contract offer in late 2021 left Dybala and his camp irate, to the point where negotiations were called off entirely. The player once felt a great connection to Juve, but felt hurt by the clubs lack of trust in his form or his fitness.
As such, any previous decisions that would see Dybala head for England or Spain were cancelled. Instead, La Joya has decided that he wants to stay in Italy and to show Juve what they are giving up. The chance to really drive home the knife by signing for their eternal rivals in Inter was seen as the ideal next step.
Inter have matched his wage demands and could offer him a chance to play as part of an exciting winning project. While most Inter fans might be uneasy about the idea of signing a player with a long-term history of playing for a rival, his standing with the Italian game would mean it would be hard not to get excited.
For Juventus, though, it is simply another misstep that could empower a rival club. Juve built their previous decade of dominance in part on the back of snatching Andrea Pirlo from AC Milan. Could their decision to give up on Dybala lead to a similar changing of the guard in Italy? Could Juve regret this decision for years to come?