Paulo Dybala completes stunning Roma switch and credits club ‘on the up’

Roma have pulled off possibly their greatest ever free transfer by signing Paulo Dybala to a three-year contract.

Dybala was available without a transfer fee after his Juventus contract expired at the end of June. He left the Turin-based outfit having scored 115 goals in 293 appearances.

Roma ambitiously established themselves as one of the contenders for his signature, amid competition from Inter Milan and Napoli. Both rival suitors had Champions League football on offer, whereas Roma do not, but the Giallorossi have won the race regardless.

Gianluca Di Marzio revealed on Monday morning that Dybala had agreed to a three-year contract with Roma, which he has now signed after flying to Portugal to pass a medical and join up with the pre-season training camp.

Despite being offered the number 10 shirt – vacant since the retirement of the legendary Francesco Totti in 2017 – Dybala will wear the number 21 jersey, which he originally wore for Juventus and regularly does for Argentina. In turn, fellow summer arrival Nemanja Matic will swap his number to 8.

La Joya’s contract with La Magica – reportedly worth up to €6m per season and possibly with the inclusion of a termination clause – will run until 2025, meaning he will be with Roma between the ages of 28 and 31.

Dybala told the club’s official website: “The days that have led up to me signing this contract have been filled with so many emotions.

“The speed and determination with which Roma demonstrated just how much they wanted me made all the difference.

“I am joining a team that is on the up, a club that continues to put in place strong foundations for the future, and a coach, Jose Mourinho, that it will be a privilege to work with.

“As an opponent I have always admired the atmosphere created by the Roma fans. I now cannot wait for the chance to salute them while wearing this shirt.”

The Argentina international, who also previously played for Instituto de Cordoba and Palermo, should slot straight into Jose Mourinho’s setup for their remaining pre-season friendlies after tonight’s clash with Sporting.

Many are viewing this as Roma’s biggest signing since compatriot Gabriel Batistuta in 2000. In terms of free transfers, Dybala could yet be the best the club have completed.

Tiago Pinto welcomes ‘world-renowned’ Paulo Dybala to Roma

One of the main men responsible, general manager Tiago Pinto, added: “Paulo’s decision to join our project is a testament to the club’s credibility and a sign of the hard work that, all together, we are putting in to take Roma forward.

“Paulo is a world-renowned player who has won major trophies and gained global acclaim; he will bring that class with him to Roma and I am sure that, with him in the squad, we will be even stronger and more competitive.”

Dybala’s debut season with Roma will be his 11th in Italian football and eighth consecutive in Serie A. Last season, with Juventus, he scored 15 goals in 39 games, including one from outside the box against Roma.

Overall, Dybala has hit double figures of goals in eight of his 11 seasons as a professional – once with Instituto, once with Palermo and six times with Juventus. With the latter, he broke the 20-goal barrier in the 2015-16 and 2017-18 seasons; the latter was his most prolific campaign yet with 26 goals.

Unlike Europa Conference League champions Roma, Juventus did not win any trophies in 2021-22. But Dybala amassed five league titles and seven other domestic medals in previous campaigns with the club.

Now, he will be at the forefront of a growing Roma project under Jose Mourinho, whose influence continues to pervade the club’s activity. Just as Mourinho’s appointment last summer was a monumental day for Roma, so too is the one in which Dybala joins the club.

Benvenuto, Paulo.

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