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Argentina's Paulo Dybala rejects claims of rift with Lionel Scaloni

Argentina's interim head coach Lionel Scaloni says the number 10 shirt will not be given to another player until Lionel Messi announces his plans.
Interim coach Lionel Scaloni admits he's uncertain if Lionel Messi will return to the national team, but is optimistic for the newcomers to the side.

Juventus forward Paulo Dybala has denied reports of a rift with Argentina's interim manager Lionel Scaloni and called for there to be "focus on matters on the pitch."

Dybala came on as a second-half substitute in Tuesday's goalless draw with Colombia in New Jersey and was on the bench but did not feature in Friday's 3-0 triumph over Guatemala after joining the team late due to a legal matter.

There was speculation in Argentina of a possible problem between Dybala and Scaloni after the player's brother, Gustavo, reportedly posted a message on social media which read: "Because you don't make them money, they will not play you," but Dybala insisted he is on good terms with Scaloni.

"Our families always want us to play and many times in the heat of the moment these things happen," Dybala told TyC Sports. "I have a good relationship with the coach and with the technical staff.

"I'm grateful to be here and I thank Scaloni. This is a beautiful group, with many young players who are very eager. You always want to be in the national team. I think people just have to put the focus on matters on the pitch."

Scaloni was equally as dismissive of the suggestions of a fall out between the pair.

"You think I have a problem with him? He's a phenomenon," Scaloni told TyC Sports of Dybala after the game. "What happened is we didn't train [with him] during the week and he knows that.

"He's a great one. Let's not make a stupid case because there isn't one and what we need is for Argentina to push forward."

Scaloni started Mauro Icardi against Colombia with the Inter Milan forward still searching for his first international goal after five games.

"We are very happy with Mauro," Scaloni said. "He did pressure very well and had a couple of interesting moments. He made an important effort to be here and that is priceless."

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