Reports: Real Madrid to replace Gareth Bale with €113 million-rated 23-year-old in January
What's the story?
Paulo Dybala is top of Florentino Perez' shortlist, as Real Madrid chase the Juventus star with a view to replacing Gareth Bale, according to a report in Spanish news outlet, El Mundo Deportivo. Los Blancos president Florentino Perez has reportedly given up on the Welshman ever becoming as big a marketable product as Cristiano Ronaldo - and no longer has faith that Bale will sustain his fitness to make an impact on the pitch. Having kept their powder dry in the summer, Real Madrid are willing to go big in January, hoping to tempt Juventus into parting with La Joya for a club record fee of €113 million.
In case you didn't know...
Dybala came through the ranks at Instituto, before Palermo announced his signing for a cool €8.6 million in 2012, where he immediately became a fan-favourite, resulting in Juventus parting with a massive €32 million (plus €8 million in add-ons) for his services in 2015. In the three seasons he's spent at the Old Lady, the Argentine has scored an impressive 54 goals in 103 appearances.
The heart of the matter
While Dybala has been perennially impressive for Juventus, it is his recent form that has made Real Madrid sit up and take notice. The 23-year-old has been unstoppable ever since Juve handed him their iconic #10 shirt this summer, racking up 10 goals already in the league and being one of the early favourites for the European Golden Shoe.
According to the report, Dybala has tasked his brothers Gustavo and Matias with the task of talking with Real Madrid, after talks with Barcelona had not progressed in the summer, with Dybala unsure of sharing a pitch with Lionel Messi and thriving. Florentino Perez' offer is reportedly quite tempting, as the Argentine would double the €7 million he currently earns from Juventus.
Juve have the Argentine striker tied down to a contract until 2021 and will be loathe to lose their most prized asset midway through the season, which would require Madrid to up their offer further.
Paulo Dybala is arguably a better fit for Real Madrid than any of the other targets they have been linked with, and with Gareth Bale unlikely to ever repay the €100 million Real Madrid parted with for him, Los Blancos would be better off pushing through with this transfer.