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Saturday 21 September 2019

Twist in the plot that could affect Manchester United's hopes of signing Juventus forward Paulo Dybala

Juventus forward Paulo Dybala is being linked to Manchester United (John Walton/PA)
Juventus forward Paulo Dybala is being linked to Manchester United (John Walton/PA)
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Manchester United would have to pay a fee as part of any potential swap deal involving their striker Romelu Lukaku and Juventus forward Paulo Dybala, according to the latest reports emerging from Italy.

After Inter Milan chief Beppe Marotta admitted his club may not be able to pay United's asking price for Lukaku despite the player's apparent desire to link up with coach Antonio Conte at the San Siro, attention switched to Juventus as they appeared to move into pole position to sign the Belgian striker.

Yet the notion of a straight-swap for the attacking stars appear to have been diluted by reports emerging from sources close to Juventus that suggest the Turin club will demand a fee for Dybala as part of a move that will see Lukaku link up with Maurizio Sarri's squad.

With Juventus valuing Dybala at €100m and United demanding around €80m for Lukaku, it appears United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward faces some tough negotiations if he wants to conclude a straight swap deal, as he did when Alexis Sanchez joined United and Henrikh Mkhitaryan move to Arsenal in January 2018.

Meanwhile, it appears that Inter have accepted defeat in their battle to sign Lukaku, with their CEO Marotta confirming the value placed on the player by United is out of their reach.

"The club is strong, but we need to stay within certain parameters," stated Marotta. "The club has made big investments and we believe that we’re already at a good stage in the process.

"We are ready to pounce on opportunities, but prices are nowadays very high indeed. We made a strong offer, one that is valid and suited to the transfer value of the player and we were unable to conclude a deal. We’ll continue to monitor the situation and anything can happen on the market."

Tottenham and Paris Saint-Germain are also believed to have made offer for Dybala, with Juve's eagerness to sell the Argentine forward who scored just five Serie A goals last season seemingly confirming he is not a part of the club's long-term plans.

Now the question is where Dybala will be at the end of this transfer window, with any move to England needing to be concluded by the August 8th transfer deadline for Premier League clubs.

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