Saturday 21 September 2019

United halt pursuit of Juventus star Dybala over wage demands

Paulo Dybala. Photo: Martin Rickett/PA Wire
Paulo Dybala. Photo: Martin Rickett/PA Wire

James Ducker

Manchester United have ended their interest in Paulo Dybala amid reservations about the Juventus striker's desire to move to Old Trafford and his huge wage demands.

United have been in talks with Juventus over the possibility of offloading Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku to the Turin club and Dybala moving to Manchester in return. However, reports suggest that United have decided to pull the plug on that potential swap deal because of Dybala's reluctance to leave Juventus, the Argentine's huge salary demands and exorbitant agents' fees.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, the United manager, is determined only to bring in players who are fully committed to being part of the club's project.

Dybala wanted parity with United's top earners, such as Alexis Sanchez, David De Gea and Paul Pogba, and there are also believed to have been complications over the player's image rights. It is thought Dybala feels he is being pushed out of Juventus against his will.

The news effectively ends Lukaku's hopes of a move to Juventus, although it remains to be seen where this leaves Mario Mandzukic's prospects of a transfer to Old Trafford.

The Croatia striker's name had also been discussed as part of a potential swap/deal involving Lukaku and Dybala.

Inter Milan are still trying to sign Lukaku, who is eager to leave United and was reprimanded by Solskjaer after divulging confidential training data in a tweet on Friday that he was ordered to delete.

Inter had a £54 million bid for Lukaku rejected last month and need to sell Mauro Icardi to help raise funds to complete a deal for the United striker.

Although United could still sign a forward if Lukaku does depart, Solskjaer will not bring in a replacement for the sake of it. The United manager has been encouraged by the performances of emerging young players such as Mason Greenwood and Tahith Chong over the summer and feels he has an array of attacking options.

United are keeping their options open before the close of the Premier League transfer window on Thursday and have funds to spend. The midfield remains an area Solskjaer is interested in adding to.

England centre-half Harry Maguire's £80 million move from Leicester City is also close to completion.

He will become United's third summer signing after Daniel James and Aaron Wan-Bissaka and take their projected spending to £148 million. (© Daily Telegraph)

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