Palermo president Mauro Zamparini has suggested that he would try his best to make sure star striker Paulo Dybala remained in Serie A even he is to leave the club in the summer.
The striker looks to be closing in on a big money move after his relationship with the outspoken chief reportedly broke down beyond repair. Both Manchester United and Arsenal have been linked with an interest with the Red Devils recently sending scouts to run the rule over him.
A £30 million fee has been placed on Dybala's head with Zamparini known as a particularly tough negotiator. And it appears the mind games have already started ahead of what promises to be a summer transfer saga.
Zamparini claimed he would prefer to sell the 21-year-old to Juventus than to see him develop away from Serie A. Such a statement seems unrealistic but helps to set the tone should Louis van Gaal or Arsene Wenger come calling.
"I told him that I would be more than happy to sell Paulo to Juventus if possible. I would actually prefer for him to stay in Italy"
"There has not been any contact with Napoli but it is true that Marotta has been in touch for Juventus," he is reported in Goal as saying.
"He told me that Juventus will be right there if we decide to sell Dybala. They are very much interested in signing him and are ready to open talks.
"I told him that I would be more than happy to sell Paulo to Juventus if possible. I would actually prefer for him to stay in Italy.
"I know Marotta, though, so I immediately made it clear that I will not give him a discount. We all know what happened with Pastore."
Only the keenest of Serie A followers would have been treated to the delights of Dybala on these shores thus far. His diminutive stature and Argentinian heritage appears to have been the only thing likening him to Sergio Aguero, but a growingly impressive eye for goal has added weight to that suggestion.
He has scored 11 goals in 21 league games so far this season, which does not show the pedigree of a man valued at £30 million. However, Zamparini is no idiot and he knows how much money the Premier League giants have to spend.
Where is he needed?
Manchester United certainly have space for Dybala in their squad with Radamel Falcao set to return to Monaco when his loan spell ends and Robin van Persie sitting on the wrong side of 30.
Arsenal currently have Olivier Giroud and Danny Welbeck placed up front but Chuba Akpom and Yaya Sanogo are also threatening to break through. Arsene Wenger should be more concerned with a lack of quality in both the defensive midfield and goalkeeping department before he goes spending £30m on a striker.