Chelsea are reportedly eyeing up a move for long-serving Juventus forward Paulo Dybala this summer, should their ongoing takeover plans be resolved in the near future.
The Lowdown: Out of Contract
After seven years in Turin, it would appear that the Argentine’s time at the Old Lady is coming to an end, with respected transfer guru Fabrizio Romano revealing recently that the £36m-rated star will not be signing a new deal, following the collapse of negotiations with the Serie A giants.
With his existing contract set to expire this summer, the 28-year-old is now set to move on for free at the end of the season, having previously made the switch to his current club on a £23.4m deal from fellow Italian side Palermo back in 2015.
Despite showing flashes of his quality since then, the club’s number ten has endured a frustrating time of it with injuries and has struggled to emerge as the real leading man, having only reached double figures once for league goals over the last four seasons.
The Latest: Chelsea Enter Race
According to 90min, Thomas Tuchel and co are set to offer the 32-cap forward an escape route out of the Allianz Stadium, with the west London outfit keen to ‘join the pursuit’ for the player in the upcoming transfer window, amid rival interest from the likes of Atletico Madrid, Inter Milan and fellow Premier League side, Tottenham Hotspur.
The report does suggest, however, that the club will have to wait for their ownership situation to be resolved before pushing for any deal for the out-of-contract star, with a preferred bidder yet to be found to replace disqualified owner, Roman Abramovich.
The reigning European champions are currently under sanction owing to the Russian oligarch’s reported links to the invasion of Ukraine, meaning they are unable to sign or sell any new players, nor offer new deals to current squad members, hence the need to wait for a takeover to be cemented before pursuing Dybala.
The Verdict: Not the Right Fit
Despite his undoubted, albeit at times inconsistent, quality, the left-footed playmaker – who former Juve star Liam Brady once likened to Italian icon Roberto Baggio – is seemingly not the right type of acquisition that Marina Granovskaia should be chasing this summer.
While there are doubts over the futures of a number of the Blues attacking weapons, notably reported Borussia Dortmund target Timo Werner and summer signing Romelu Lukaku, turning to Dybala as a possible solution could well be a costly mistake, not least if they have to fork out anywhere close to his £222k-per-week wage, though they would not need to pay a penny in terms of a transfer fee.
There are also potential question marks over the player’s attitude and commitment to the cause, with West Ham legend Paulo Di Canio damning in his criticism of the forward, labelling him as “emotionally fragile” and a “big cry baby”, while there are also concerns over whether he would actually be interested in making a move to England.
Equally, with the likes of Christian Pulisic, Hakim Ziyech, Mason Mount and Kai Havertz already at the club, it would seem that attacking reinforcements should not be the priority this summer, particularly with a handful of key defenders likely to depart, namely soon-to-be free agent, Antonio Rudiger and the seemingly Barcelona-bound, Andreas Christensen.