Manchester United have reached out to the agent of Paulo Dybala ahead of a potential move to Old Trafford after Cristiano Ronaldo’s transfer request.
After 12 long years, Cristiano Ronaldo, 37, made a sensational return to Manchester United last summer but has expressed his desire to leave following an underwhelming 2021/22 season that saw the club miss out on Champions League qualification. The Portuguese superstar is understood to be unhappy at Old Trafford due to the club’s inactivity in the summer transfer market, unlike their rivals that have further strengthened their squads.
Erik ten Hag, the new Red Devils boss, has also not been able to land any marquee signings as of now, with Dutch left-back Tyrell Malacia being the only addition to the squad this summer. In the wake of Ronaldo informing Man United he be allowed to leave should any good offer from a club playing in the Champions League arrive in this window, the Red Devils have started scouring the market for replacing the five-time Ballon D’Or winner.
Paulo Dybala has emerged as an option, with Man United reportedly establishing contacts with his agent in recent days. Dybala, 28, is still on the hunt for a new club after his contract expired with Juventus at the end of June.
The Argentina international has been heavily linked with a series of top European clubs throughout the summer, including the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona and Manchester City. Inter Milan seemed to be his destination at one point of time; though, the Nerazzurri’s interest has cooled down since the re-signing of Romelu Lukaku, who has joined on loan from Chelsea.
This has left the door wide open for other clubs to make a swoop, with Arsenal also touching Dybala’s camp.
Is Cristiano Ronaldo’s exit from Man United inevitable?
Cristiano Ronaldo has missed Manchester United’s pre-season training again as doubts grow over his future. The 37-year-old didn’t report back for pre-season training on Monday morning due to ‘family reasons’ and was not present on Tuesday too for the same reasons.
It is unclear when Ronaldo will start pre-season training with his Man United teammates. Erik ten Hag and the squad are due to fly out to Thailand and Australia for their pre-season tour on Friday, leaving a lot of doubts over the Portugal international’s involvement although he can join the squad a bit later into the tour.
Ronaldo has doubts about the Red Devils’ ambitions to challenge for big prizes and has seemingly made it clear to the hierarchy he wants out this summer. He wants to continue playing in the Champions League, and although Man United insist he is not available for transfer and that they want him back quickly to be part of Ten Hag’s squad next season, an exit very much looks on the cards. Chelsea, Bayern Munich and Napoli are monitoring the situation of Ronaldo.
Should the Red Devils go for Paulo Dybala?
Losing Ronaldo would be a big blow for Erik ten Hag’s revolution at Old Trafford, which will, in turn, leave him with just Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford to lead the attack next season.
After missing out on Darwin Nunez to Liverpool earlier in the window, Ten Hag has switched his focus from signing a traditional no.9 to a versatile forward. And Paulo Dybala, in that regard, would fit the bill perfectly under the Dutchman at Old Trafford.
Dybala is a top-class player who can lead the attack, play as a number, false 9 or out wide, so would definitely give Ten Hag some flexibility in attack. The ex-Juventus man is vastly experienced and would bring the much-needed winning mentality with him to United if a deal materialises. However, recurrent injury problems in the last few years have not allowed him to hit the heights he expected earlier in his career.
A lot depends on Dybala’s fitness, but if he can keep himself healthy and firing, a skilful and classy attacker like him could make a big difference to this United side. On a free transfer, this deal makes sense for the Red Devils, although it will be difficult to replace a player like Ronaldo.
I am Rohan Sengupta from one of the busiest cities in India, Mumbai. A Journalism graduate with a keen interest in sports, football is something I simply cannot live without and writing, discussing and analyzing the game is what I do 24*7.