Manchester United have seen their plans to recruit Palermo sensation Paulo Dybala take a huge knock, after the player revealed an ambition to one day play for bitter rivals Manchester City.
The 21-year-old has caused quite the storm this campaign, having bagged 11 goals in 20 appearances across all competitions, and naturally his good form has attracted the attention of a number of suitors. Chief amongst them are United, with Louis van Gaal carefully monitoring the situation ahead of a proposed summer move to bolster his attacking line-up.
Palermo are taking the interest in their star performer’s signature so seriously that chief Maurizio Zamparini yesterday admitted that he expects to have to sell him at some point, and has also inferred that he would prefer to offload him to another Serie A club.
However, the player’s own comments, taken by Italian sport magazine Guerin Sportivo - brought to our attention by the Daily Express - don’t run in tandem with those of his boss, as he’s insisted that Manchester City are one of two clubs that have a special significance to him.
"When I play with the Playstation, I always choose Barcelona or Manchester City," he said.
"When I play with the Playstation, I always choose Barcelona or Manchester City"
"I dream to play one day with one of those clubs."
Such aspirations hardly make for pleasant reading for Van Gaal, who could well be preparing for a summer window that sees his current attacking unit broken up. The futures of Robin van Persie and Radamel Falcao are under particular scrutiny all things considered, and with only Wayne Rooney and James Wilson on the books as viable alternatives new arrivals can’t be ruled out.
Whether or not Dybala, who will cost a mooted £30 million, is the right man for the job given his relative inexperience and raw skill-set is a question Van Gaal will have to determine the answer to once he has made a final decision regarding his stance on Van Persie and Falcao. Sure, Dybala is talented, but more proven figures than he have moved from Italy to the Premier League only to find themselves unable to cope with the adaption.
In this period of transition the Red Devils would be far better served aiming their financial war-chest at a striker who has more pedigree under his belt and a better chance at slotting into English football seamlessly.
That’s of course if a new forward has to be purchased. Though Falcao hasn’t impressed on his loan spell, and may therefore return to AS Monaco, Van Persie remains a class act on his day, and giving Wilson a clear path to the first-team wouldn’t be the worst route Van Gaal has ever taken.
United fans, should Van Gaal let City have Dybala? Or should he put up a major fight to get his man? Let us know in the comments box below...