World Cup winner Angel Di Maria explains Juventus contract situation & rules out one possible move if free agency is hit
- South American's deal running down
- Will not be returning to Argentina
- Intends to play at 2024 Copa America
WHAT HAPPENED? The 35-year-old forward is approaching the end of a 12-month contract that he penned with Serie A giants last summer, meaning that free agency beckons for him once more. There is still time for an extended stay in Turin to be agreed, but Di Maria has rubbished any suggestion that he could be tempted back to his homeland amid talk of a return to his roots at Rosario Central being lined up.
WHAT THEY SAID: The veteran winger, who helped Argentina to World Cup glory at Qatar 2022, has told ESPN of his future plans: “I don’t have preferences about it. I’m happy here. The club has had a few problems lately, and we haven’t discussed an extension. I haven’t talked with them or any other team. I try to focus on playing and proving my worth in each game, and then we’ll see what happens.”
He added on the speculation regarding a retracing of steps to South America: “I heard the recent rumours about Rosario Central and didn’t like them. They are unnecessary right now and give people false hope. I’ll decide on my own when it’ll be the right time for me to return. I want to play in the next Copa America, so it will be key for me to stay in Europe to be called up; otherwise, Lionel Scaloni won’t consider me.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: The next edition of the Copa America is due to take place in 2024, when the continental competition heads back to the United States for the second time in eight years.
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WHAT NEXT? Di Maria helped Argentina to emerge victorious at that tournament back in 2021, as Lionel Messi claimed a first senior international trophy, and starred again for the Albiceleste as they prevailed in a thrilling World Cup final clash with France in 2022 that required a penalty shootout in order to determine a winner.