Andrea Pirlo has insisted that Paulo Dybala is still very much a part of Juventus’ future, but the new coach has confirmed that Gonzalo Higuain will leave the club this summer.
Dybala picked up the Serie A Player of the Year award last season after helping Juve win their ninth successive Scudetto, beating Portuguese team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo to the award.
The Argentine’s total of 11 goals in 33 appearances fell way below Ronaldo’s final tally of 31, but he also provided 11 assists, and Lega Serie A ultimately decided that his overall contribution made him worthy of the coveted MVP title.
Pirlo addressed rumours over the playmaker’s future during his first press conference as Juve’s new permanent head coach on Tuesday, dismissing any possibility of him being sold once and for all.
“He has never been on the market, it is you [the media] who make these rumours,” the 41-year-old told reporters.
“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.”
Higuain, meanwhile, is reportedly set to see his contract terminated a year before its expiry date, and Pirlo went on to confirm the striker’s imminent departure.
“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.”