With the World Cup’s thrilling finale fast approaching, it felt as though nothing could possibly distract football fans from the drama in Russia. Then Juventus got involved.
The Italian giants have stumped up astronomical amounts of money to sign Cristiano Ronaldo from Real Madrid, and have blown this summer’s transfer window wide open in the process. Key stars from a host of European superpowers now look set to be targeted as the merry-go-round gathers pace.
Juve themselves, inevitably, look set to be the first on many clubs’ hit list. It’s perfectly clear that they will need to sell in order to comply with UEFA’s Financial Fair Play regulations and, as such, a number of clubs are ready to swoop.
Manchester United could well be the first off the mark, if reports are believed, with the club’s hierarchy now hugely confident of landing long-term target Paulo Dybala. The exquisitely talented Argentine would cost around £80m, but his stats suggest he’s worth it.
Romelu Lukaku was United’s main man in attack last season and shone for Belgium during their World Cup campaign, yet it’s striking to see just how unfavourably his performances in the Premier League last season compare to Dybala’s in Serie A.
Dybala made 7 fewer appearances than Lukaku yet managed to score 6 more goals than him, and often from a far deeper position. Unlike the big Belgian was not always the team’s focal point, yet he was still able to make a huge impact.
Few players in Europe could match Dybala’s record of a goal every 107 minutes at the very highest level last season, and it’s a statistic that marks out what a special player he truly is. At 24-years-old history is his for the making and, should he move to Old Trafford, legendary status could easily be his.
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