Dybala’s signing steps up the ambitions for Mourinho’s Roma

ROME (AP) — José Mourinho and Conference League champion Roma are stepping up their ambitions with the signing of former Juventus forward Paulo Dybala.

Three weeks after his contract expired at Juventus, the 28-year-old Argentina international agreed to a three-year deal at Roma, the capital club announced Wednesday.

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

“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.

Dybala is Roma’s second high-profile signing during the transfer window after Nemanja Matić joined on a one-year deal after his contract at Manchester United also expired.

Dybala scored 115 goals across all competitions in seven seasons at Juventus, helping the Bianconeri to 12 trophies — including five Serie A titles. But the often-injured striker fell out of favor under coach Massimiliano Allegri after the Turin club signed Dušan Vlahović in January.

Dybala can play several offensive positions and excels at free kicks, penalties, and scoring from beyond the area. He’ll be expected to link up with Lorenzo Pellegrini and Tammy Abraham in Roma’s attack — and his arrival could pave the way for Nicolò Zaniolo to leave the Giallorossi in a potentially lucrative sale.

Roma won the Europa Conference League title in its first season under Mourinho and will be aiming for a top-four finish and a Champions League spot this season, when it will also compete in the Europa League.

Roma finished sixth in Serie A last season.

Inter Milan and Napoli had also reportedly been interested in signing Dybala.

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

Roma opens the season Aug. 14 at Salernitana then will visit Dybala’s former club Juventus in the third round.

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