Even more interesting is the apparent apathy outside of Italy. Dybala, the player who had previously conquered the fantasy of Manchester United, Tottenham, Barcelona and Real Madrid, received only one serious offer from abroad, from Sevilla, the big collector of Mercury Argentine forwards. The catch is that he has a significant reduction in salary. One of Italy’s best players is available for free and much of Europe is barely blinking.
In part, this is due to Dibala himself. The expectation of his salary precludes the vast majority of clubs. His injury record may have stopped others. His form, over the last two years, has been slightly inconsistent, though he undoubtedly notes that Juventus have hardly played so that his best performances stand out.
This, in fact, may be the most acceptable factor. In an era when most teams play with some version of the attacking trio – two wide players dig in, one central striker working to create space – Dibala has no natural home.
He is, by inclination and disposition, the 10th number, a position that has ceased to exist in modern football. Even Juventus, where the role – no matter how many – carries a certain “weight”, as one of the club’s executives said this year, will cancel it. Elite football now has no place in what Italian football has long called fantasy. Dibala might be the end of the line.
But the uncertainty in which Dibala is present is also part of a broader trend. Italian football is an increasingly isolated ecosystem, the world itself. It’s not just that Italian players typically do not leave Italy: Roberto Mancini’s team has only called up four members for this month ‘s match against Argentina, the so – called Finals, which was played outside of Serie A, the same number he called. The winning team of Euro 2020. This is because country coaches are traveling more and more often. Carlo Ancelotti may have won another Champions League a month ago, Antonio Conte may have helped Tottenham regain a place in the European elite, but they are the exception and not the rule.