Blaise Matuidi believes Juventus will struggle to replace Paulo Dybala when he departs at the end of the season.

Juve chief executive Maurizio Arrivabene confirmed on Monday that Dybala's contract will not be renewed.

The Argentina forward's deal expires at the end of June and the Bianconeri have opted against offering him an extension.

Dybala has scored 113 goals for the Serie A giants, ranking him third all-time among the club's non-Italian scorers, behind only David Trezeguet (171) and John Hansen (124).

He joined Juve from Palermo in a deal worth up to €40million in June 2015 and has proved to be a shrewd acquisition, finding the back of the net 80 times in 202 Serie A appearances.

 

Matuidi is surprised the Turin giants have allowed his former team-mate to move on and says he will leave a big void.

The ex-France international told La Gazzetta dello Sport: "I have an excellent relationship with him, I heard the news, but I have not yet had the opportunity to speak to him.

"He is a great man, as well as a great player. I am very surprised because I think that it will not be easy for Juventus to replace him and find a new player at his level.

"He has done fantastic things in recent years, the fans love him and they will never forget him. I am sure he will find a club that will allow him to continue to grow and do well.

"The only explanation is that Juventus have decided to renew the team. I know it's difficult to accept, but in these situations you have to know how to turn the page."

Juve have been linked with Roma's Nicolo Zaniolo as they prepare for life without Dybala.

Arrivabene explained the reasoning behind Dybala's impending departure, telling Tuttomercatoweb.com: "The most important change is that Juventus has not renewed Paulo Dybala's contract.

"With the transfer market, I reiterated it: the approach was sincere. With the signings made in January, with the arrival of [Dusan] Vlahovic, Paulo's position is not what it was anymore at the centre of the project.

"That is why we preferred to make this kind of decision."

Serial trophy winner Medhi Benatia announced his retirement on Thursday as Juventus and Bayern Munich stars past and present hailed the powerhouse defender.

The 34-year-old former Morocco captain played a part in five consecutive league championship wins, firstly when landing two Bundesliga titles at Bayern in the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons.

He joined Juventus from the German giants and featured in each of the next three campaigns as the Turin giants mopped up successive Scudetto triumphs, also leading his country at the 2018 World Cup.

Benatia was born in France and began his career in the Marseille youth set-up. He shot to prominence after a move from Clermont to Udinese in 2010, which paved the way for a switch to Roma in 2013, and one year later he was prised away by Bayern amid a scramble by elite clubs for his services.

After a double-winning second season, Benatia moved on to Juventus in 2016, before leaving the Bianconeri to sign for Qatari outfit Al-Duhail midway through the 2018-19 season.

While at Juventus, he was part of the squad that reached the 2016-17 Champions League final and also won the Coppa Italia twice. Most recently he has been with Turkish Super Lig side Fatih Karagumruk, who said Benatia had retired because of injury.

Responding to Benatia's announcement, which he revealed on Instagram, Juventus striker Paulo Dybala sent a heart emoji to his former team-mate. Ex-Bayern winger Franck Ribery did likewise, with current Juve full-back Juan Cuadrado and former favourite Sami Khedira also among those that sent greetings.

Blaise Matuidi, the former Juventus and France midfield general, wrote: "What a career, my brother. I remember those days at [French national football centre] Clairefontaine where we began to dream of being a professional footballer, but by dint of work you did much more than that. Incredible clubs, captain of a nation and having won a good number of titles, you can only be proud brother."

Manchester United defender Eric Bailly joined in the praise, writing: "Bravo capitano. Great man, great career, very good player and finally an example."

Paris Saint-Germain full-back Achraf Hakimi praised his former national team skipper, with the message: "Capitanooo. Good luck in your new stage big bro."

Announcing his decision to retire, Benatia said: "From a young age I had only one dream, to become a professional footballer. To get there, I had to force myself to work hard, make sacrifices, but above all set new goals at each stage of my career.

"This job has also allowed me to defend and represent my country, Morocco, with whom I have experienced unforgettable moments... in particular the 2018 World Cup."

Inter Miami have been hit with a record $2million fine and other sanctions after violating MLS' roster and salary rules following the signing of France international midfielder Blaise Matuidi.

Co-owned by former Manchester United, England and Real Madrid star David Beckham, Inter Miami lured Matuidi from Serie A champions Juventus to the United States for their inaugural season in 2020 – the World Cup-winning star teaming up with Gonzalo Higuain after the club used targeted allocation money (TAM).

But MLS deemed Inter Miami were not roster compliant in March – meaning the team effectively had four designated players last season rather than the three allowed.

Following an extensive investigation on Friday, Inter Miami's violations were found to include the incorrect roster categorisation for Matuidi and Andres Reyes – who should have occupied a designated player slot. The violations also included undisclosed agreements that resulted in the underreporting of salary budget amounts for players Leandro Gonzalez Pirez, Nicolas Figal and Julian Carranza.

As a result, Inter Miami – along with the stiffest fine in league history – had a reduction of $2,271,250 in allocation dollars for the 2022 and 2023 seasons, while managing owner Jorge Mas was fined $250,000 and former sporting director Paul McDonough received a suspension through the 2022 campaign and he subsequently departed Atlanta United.

"The integrity of our rules is sacrosanct, and it is a fundamental principle of our league that our clubs are responsible for adhering to all league regulations," said MLS commissioner Don Garber.

"Our rules will not be compromised. These sanctions reflect the severity of Inter Miami's violations, should encourage complete cooperation by all parties in future investigations, and will serve as a deterrent for clubs from violating roster rules."

The investigation also found no wrongdoing on the part of Inter Miami owners Marcelo Claure, Masayoshi Son, Jose Mas, and Beckham.

In a statement, Mas said: "Inter Miami CF acknowledges that the club violated Major League Soccer's roster rules in our first season. 

"We have worked closely with MLS to address these issues and have made significant changes in our management structure. Following our inaugural season, we took a deep look at our soccer operations leadership group and made decisions that not only strengthened our internal roster compliance measures, but also better positioned us to build a sustainable, long-term competition strategy with the hiring of Chris Henderson as chief soccer officer and sporting director in 2021.  

"Inter Miami is an ambitious club with big aspirations. We believe our fanbase, market and ownership group propel us to be one of North America's most-followed futbol teams in the world. We are committed to supporting our team and building a roster we are proud of."

Inter Miami – led by head coach Phil Neville this season – are ninth in the 14-team Eastern Conference with eight points from seven games in 2021.

Karim Benzema has received a sensational recall to the France squad for Euro 2020, over five years since he last represented his country.

The Real Madrid striker scored twice in a 4-0 win over Armenia in October 2015, taking his tally to 27 international goals. 

Benzema then became embroiled in a blackmail scandal involving Les Bleus team-mate Mathieu Valbuena in the weeks after that game and has been subsequently overlooked by national team boss Didier Deschamps, despite his outstanding form at club level.

However, the 33-year-old - who has scored 29 goals in all competitions for Madrid this season - is undoubtedly the eye-catching name in France's 26-man party for the upcoming tournament, adding further depth up front for the reigning world champions.

"We met, we spoke at length, I then thought very hard and came to make this decision," Deschamps said of the decision to bring Benzema back in from the cold.

"I needed this chat, he needed this chat. I don't want to make this a specific case. As national team boss, I have always look beyond my personal case. My responsibility is important, but it is bigger than me."

There is also a place for Borussia Monchengladbach forward Marcus Thuram, as well as Sevilla defender Jules Kounde.

Anthony Martial, however, misses out due to fitness concerns. The forward suffered a knee injury while playing for France in March, though could make a return to action for Manchester United before the end of the season.

"Anthony Martial would have been here but he is not available. His condition does not allow it," Deschamps revealed during a press conference.

Teenage midfielder Eduardo Camavinga - heavily linked with Madrid - is another notable absentee, along with Rennes team-mate Steven Nzonzi. There is also no place for Madrid left-back Ferland Mendy.

France will play friendly fixtures against Wales and Bulgaria ahead of the delayed European Championship, which was pushed back a year due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Deschamps' side start their Group F campaign against Germany on June 15, followed four days later by a clash with Hungary. They complete their round-robin campaign on June 23 by taking on Portugal, the nation who defeated them in the Euro 2016 final in Paris.


France squad: Hugo Lloris (Tottenham), Steve Mandanda (Marseille), Mike Maignan (Lille); Benjamin Pavard (Bayern Munich), Leo Dubois (Lyon), Raphael Varane (Real Madrid), Kurt Zouma (Chelsea), Presnel Kimpembe (Paris Saint-Germain), Clement Lenglet (Barcelona), Jules Kounde (Sevilla), Lucas Hernandez (Bayern Munich), Lucas Digne (Everton); N'Golo Kante (Chelsea), Paul Pogba (Manchester United), Adrien Rabiot (Juventus), Corentin Tolisso (Bayern Munich), Moussa Sissoko (Tottenham), Thomas Lemar (Atletico Madrid); Marcus Thuram (Borussia Monchengladbach), Kingsley Coman (Bayern Munich), Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain), Antoine Griezmann (Barcelona), Olivier Giroud (Chelsea), Karim Benzema (Real Madrid), Wissam Ben Yedder (Monaco), Ousmane Dembele (Barcelona).
 

MLS concluded David Beckham's Inter Miami violated the league's roster and salary rules following the signing of France international midfielder Blaise Matuidi.

Inter Miami lured Matuidi from Serie A champions Juventus to the United States for their inaugural season in 2020 – the World Cup-winning star teaming up with Gonzalo Higuain after the club used targeted allocation money (TAM).

But as Inter Miami prepare for their second season in MLS, which kicks off under Phil Neville against LA Galaxy on Sunday, MLS deemed the club were not roster compliant – meaning the team effectively had four designated players last season rather than the three allowed.

Higuain, Rodolfo Pizarro and Matias Pellegrini were Inter Miami's listed designated players in 2020.

"The league has concluded that Inter Miami was not in compliance with the roster and budget rules during 2020," a statement read on Friday, with the league to finalise its investigation and sanctions in the "near future".

"In 2020, Matuidi was categorised as a targeted allocation money [TAM] player. Matuidi's compensation was above the compensation limit for a TAM player and he should have been classified as a designated player.

"As a result, Inter Miami CF violated the designated player limit as the team had three designated players in addition to Matuidi during 2020."

To become roster compliant, Inter Miami exercised their off-season buyout on midfielder Pellegrini – one of last season's designated players.

Pellegrini – signed from Argentine side Estudiantes ahead of the 2020 campaign – joined the club's USL League One affiliate Fort Lauderdale CF on loan and will not be eligible to play on the team's 2021 MLS roster.

"We've been working with Matias, his representatives and MLS to reach an agreement, and at this time we believe this is the best option for all parties," Inter Miami sporting director Chris Henderson said.

"Matias is a talented young player with an exciting career ahead. He will remain with the organisation as we work on finding an on-field opportunity and next steps for him."

Inter Miami endured a tough time in 2020, finishing 10th in the Eastern Conference before losing in the play-in round of the playoffs.

They also suffered three defeats in three games in Group A of the MLS Is Back tournament amid the coronavirus pandemic.

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