Manchester United target Paulo Dybala won't leave Palermo for less than €40 million, according to the Serie 'A' club's president Maurizio Zamparini, who believes the talented young striker has the potential to emulate Lionel Messi.
The 21-year-old attacker has enjoyed a prolific 2014/15 campaign at Stadio Renzo Barbera, contributing 12 goals and seven assists in 25 appearances for Giuseppe Iachini's side.
Dybala's fine form has attracted admiring glances from a number of top European clubs, with Barcelona, Juventus and Manchester United all understood to be keeping tabs on the Argentine.
Louis van Gaal has been credited with an interest in bringing the South American talent to England this summer, despite the struggles of Dybala's compatriot Angel di Maria at Old Trafford.
The British transfer record signing has failed to replicate the kind of performances that prompted the Red Devils to pay Real Madrid almost £60 million for his signature, but that hasn't deterred them from keeping tabs on the Palermo sensation, who continues to light up Italian football.
"For me, Dybala is the Messi of the future," Zamparini is quoted by Goal.com telling Radio Anch'io. "I value him at €40 million [£28.5m], but we will have to wait and see what happens at the end of the season.
"There has been a lot of talk about Dybala, but his agent is just doing his work. I have a good relationship with him.
"The transfer fee we will receive for Dybala will be reinvested. We have an ongoing project. Even if Dybala were to leave, other important players will arrive."
Whether or not Dybala has what it takes to achieve anywhere near the same kind of success as four-time FIFA Ballon d'Or winner Messi remains to be seen, but it could depend on the decision he makes regarding his next destination when the player finally chooses to leave Sicily.
With less than 18 months to run on his existing deal with Palermo, Zamparini will be well aware that he might be forced to cash-in on the bright young talent at the end of the current season if he shows no signs of committing his long-term future to the Rosanero.
The opportunity to join forces with Messi at Camp Nou in Luis Enrique's team could prove to be very tempting, but the fact the Catalan giants have a transfer embargo which prevents them from registering any new players until 2016 might pave way for Manchester United to steal a march in the race for Dybala's services.
Juventus do not have the same financial muscle as the Red Devils, particularly in light of the new lucrative Premier League TV deal, so Van Gaal will be pretty confident of seeing off any challenge from the Italian champions in the summer.
Manchester United fans: Would you like to see Louis van Gaal move for Paulo Dybala during the summer? Is he the answer to the current problems in attack at Old Trafford? Have your say below!
Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: https://www.givemesport.com/writeforgms