Palermo striker Paulo Dybala has stunned the Premier League after revealing his dream is to play for Spanish giants FC Barcelona in order to link up with his hometown hero Lionel Messi.
The Argentinian international was expected to leave his Serie A club in the next few months, with a move to the Premier League the most likely scenario, but in a recent interview, Dybala has rocked the boat by revealing his Barca dream.
Dybala has had a superb season in Italy and is regarded as one of the hottest properties in European football, with Palermo valuing him at £30 million, but he could be set for one more year in Serie A.
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Interest in Dybala
In a recent interview with French TV station Canal Plus, as relayed by the Daily Express, Dybala made clear his dream of playing for Barcelona alongside countryman Messi, despite interest from the Premier League.
Both Arsenal and Chelsea have been monitoring Dybala for the past few months, with some reports claiming they have already launched formal moves for the striker.
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As well as the English duo, Serie A champions Juventus have been keen on signing him as well, but Palermo do not want to sell to a direct rival, despite Dybala admitting he'd like to stay in Italy.
However, he has now insisted he'd like to play for Barcelona, meaning he could be set for an extended stay with his current club.
Due to breaking rules at youth level, Barcelona are banned from any transfer activity until next January, meaning they cannot sign anyone this summer. The European giants broke regulation rules for a number of youth players and received the embargo last year, but managed to get it suspended so that they could sign players last summer, including Luis Suarez from Liverpool.
The only issue for Dybala is that Palermo are keen to sell this summer so that they can raise funds and reinvest in the squad, which means he could have no choice but to forget about his Barca dream for now.
Dybala's Barca Visit
Dybala visited Barcelona earlier in the season to watch El Clasico, and in his recent interview, he admitted that he loved the place and would love to play his football there.
"If the president, Maurizio Zamparini, says I have to leave, then I want to enjoy these last few games as a Palermo player, I want to do my best," he said.
“I went to Barcelona to watch the latest Clasico. It’s a city I like a lot, and they play very nice football.
"When I was a child I preferred Barcelona, because they had more Argentines.
"Then, of course, there’s (Lionel) Messi, who is an idol in Argentina.”
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