Paulo Dybala has admitted he very nearly left Juventus in the summer.
The 26-year-old, who has been on red-hot form this season with 11 goals in 26 games, was linked with a move to Manchester United and Tottenham, but ended up staying in Turin.
“I was close to leaving. That was in the club’s thinking, I knew. Until the last minute, we were waiting,” Dybala told The Guardian.
“I have two years left on my contract. That’s not a short time but it’s not a long one either. We’ll see what plans Juventus have, if they think I might leave in the next market or if they want me to stay.
“That’s a decision for the club to make. It’s hard to know because things change in a second.
“But I’m here, at a club that has treated me well. I’m happy, comfortable. [Maurizio] Sarri’s arrival has helped. He wanted me to stay, which gave me strength when we didn’t know what would happen. I knew he could teach me, help me bring out the best in myself.”
Dybala, the Argentina international, joined Juventus in 2015 after three seasons in Italy with Palermo.
Palermo president Maurizio Zamparini dubbed Dybala as the new Sergio Aguero when the forward signed, but Dybala insisted he did not want such comparisons.
“If you believe that, it weighs on you, but I always said I didn’t want to be the new anything, I want people to say my goals, my moves, are ‘like Dybala’, not anyone else,” Dybala said.
“[Lionel] Messi, [Omar] Sivori, and Aguero won incredible things. I wanted to win my things, not theirs.
“There was criticism because it was €8million for a 17-year-old, their highest transfer ever. I left for €40m and when I got here, the first thing they asked was about the fee. You think about the prices paid now.”
Dybala is next in action when the Old Lady take on Napoli in the Serie A at the San Paolo on Sunday.