JUVENTUS

Coronavirus scare disrupted Dybala contract talks – Juve chief Paratici

Juventus went into isolation earlier this month due to coronavirus cases and, according to the club, talks with Paulo Dybala were impacted.

Coronavirus scare disrupted Dybala contract talks – Juve chief Paratici

Juventus are keen to renew Paulo Dybala's contract, but managing director Fabio Paratici revealed the club's coronavirus scare made negotiations difficult.

Dybala has two years remaining on his existing deal in Turin but an extension has long been mooted, with the Bianconeri said to be discussing an agreement until 2025.

But no clarity has been forthcoming in the opening weeks of the 2020-21 season.

Paratici is not overly concerned, though, explaining the reason for the delay.

"We're in talks to extend Paulo's contract," he told Sky Sport Italia. "He wants to stay and we want to keep him - he's part of our future.

"It has been a tricky period because we were locked in the hotel for two weeks due to the COVID scare and not allowed to meet anyone.

"But we'll continue the negotiations to find an agreement."

Juve were forced into "fiduciary isolation" earlier this month after two staff members tested positive for COVID-19.

Cristiano Ronaldo has also been missing in recent weeks having contracted the virus on international duty.

The absence of the Juve number seven allowed Dybala to come into the team against Hellas Verona on Sunday for his first start and just second overall appearance of the new campaign.

Dybala made his return off the bench against Dynamo Kiev in the Champions League, and Paratici said ahead of Sunday's game: "Paulo is in better shape physically now.

"Let's not forget he was out for two months with a muscular injury, then had a gastrointestinal infection in Argentina.

"It's right that he now has the opportunity to start after a few run-outs."