Paulo Dybala will start Juventus’ pivotal clash with Inter despite a summer exit as a free agent, with rumours the Argentine international could move to the reigning Serie A champions.
Coach Massimiliano Allegri confirmed that Dybala would be in his starting XI for Sunday’s ‘Derby of Italy’ as Juve, who are seven points behind leaders Milan, try to extend their 16-match unbeaten league run and leapfrog Inter into third place.
During the international break Juve CEO Maurizio Arrivabene confirmed that the 28-year-old’s contract would not be extended beyond the end of the season, and Inter are thought to be one of the clubs interested in picking up injury-prone Dybala.
“Dybala will play tomorrow, are you all happy now?” Allegri said to reporters before outlining who on a previously long injury list was now ready to take on the final eight matches of the season.
“(Giorgio) Chiellini and Alex Sandro will start but I’m still thinking about (midfielder) Denis Zakaria,” Allegri added.
Federico Bernardeschi is also back and ready to start a match which could decide whether Juve officially enter the title race, although Allegri insisted that they would be content with a place in the Champions League.
“We want to consolidate fourth place and above all beat the champions of Italy,” he said.
“We’re coming to the end of the season, the players have a lot of games in their legs so the more fresh players we have the better.
“Our aim is to play in the Champions League next season.”
They face an Inter team who have won just one league match in two months, a run which has led to them surrendering a four-point lead at the top of Serie A and drop to six points behind local rivals Milan.
However Inter coach Simone Inzaghi said that he was happy with his team regardless of poor recent results.
“At the beginning of the year I’d have taken being at the start of April having won the Super Cup, got to the last 16 of the Champions League for the first time in 10 years, to be fighting for the Scudetto,” Inzaghi told reporters.
“I don’t think the performances have ever dropped, we have always created even though in the last seven matches we have only collected seven points.
“We’re disappointed with the results and we have the desire to change that tomorrow.”