Soccer

Andrea Pirlo discusses Paulo Dybala role amid Man Utd swap links with Paul Pogba

Andrea Pirlo is adamant that Paul Dybala is "fundamental" to Juventus as speculation continues over his future.

The forward is in the midst of a frustrating period at the Italian champions with talks supposedly breaking down over a new deal.

It had led to rumours of a switch to Manchester United as they look to resolve the Paul Pogba saga.

The player's agent, Mino Raiola, has urged the Red Devils to sell and touted the Bianconeri as a potential destination.

A swap deal involving Dybala would then be a possibility, but Pirlo has underlined the Argentine's importance to Juventus.

"Absolutely," he responded when asked if the 27-year-old remained an important part of his plans.

"Champions like him are always fundamental in strong teams."

Dybala, who has been at the Italian champions since 2015, has a contract until the end of next season.

But last weekend he came out and slammed the rumours swirling regarding his current deal.

"So many things that aren't true have been said in relation to my contract," he claimed.

Dybala has only started five of Juventus' 12 Serie A game this term.

He is currently battling an injury but Pirlo, who has praised his conduct, hopes to have him back in the coming days.

"I train all the players. Dybala is one of them. He behaviour is great.

"Unfortunately, he's got this little injury, and yesterday he tried to force it, but he was worried he would hurt himself even more. We hope to have him back on Tuesday."

Juventus beat Parma 4-0 on the road on Saturday evening to stay in touch with leaders AC Milan.

Cristiano Ronaldo grabbed a brace with Dejan Kulusevski and Alvaro Morata also getting on the score sheet.

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