Reports: Manchester City to hijack Manchester United's move for €97m superstar
Having lost out on Alexis Sanchez, Pep Guardiola remains in the market for a forward
What's the rumour?
Manchester City are all set to launch a summer bid for Juventus superstar Paulo Dybala and beat Manchester United to his signature, according to a report in Caught Offside, who sourced it from Spanish news outlet, Don Balon.
Pep Guardiola is reportedly still in the market for a forward after losing out on Alexis Sanchez, who signed for Jose Mourinho's Red Devils in January. Earlier reports had claimed that Matteo Darmian could be used as a makeweight in a deal involving United, but City are willing to pay Juventus their asking price.
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In case you didn't know...
Having spent his youth career with hometown club Instituto, Dybala left Argentina in 2012 after a stellar season with the senior side.
The forward signed a four-year contract with Palermo but after three excellent seasons, he moved to Juventus for a massive €40 million fee at the start of the 2015/16 season. Initially signing a five-year deal, Dybala now has a contract that runs until 2022.
The heart of the matter
Juventus have reportedly put Dybala's contract extension on hold, which has alerted top clubs to his availability - despite his poor form this season. Despite a storming start, the Argentine has had issues performing for the Bianconeri, leading to critical comments from Juve legend Pavel Nedved.
Manchester United were reportedly in pole position to sign the forward eventually, but having pushed through a deal for Alexis Sanchez, it seems the Red Devils may not be as keen on signing Dybala. According to the report, City are hoping to take advantage, and have no qualms paying Juventus' asking price of €97 million.
Don Balon have a history of reporting on frankly, laughable rumours - so take whatever they publish with a pinch of salt. However, Manchester City are likely to be in the market for a top forward, as evidenced by their pursuit of Alexis Sanchez.
Paulo Dybala is a top forward - and it would surprising if City were not making overtures for the Argentinian, especially since all indications are that Sergio Aguero is on his way out of the Etihad.
Dybala would walk into most sides in the world, although Manchester City are well-stocked when it comes to attacking options. His arrival would probably signal the departure of one of Gabriel Jesus or Sergio Aguero, with the latter being the likelier option at the age of 29.
Given Dybala's preference of playing alongside a central striker, he may necessitate a change in style of Guardiola's fluent Manchester City side - which is perhaps not the ideal scenario.
In the long term, however, Dybala and Jesus would form a fearsome combination for the next 5 years, as the pair are both young and approaching their peak years. €97 million may seem a large sum now, but not after a few years of success.