Paulo Dybala to decide Manchester United swap deal with Romelu Lukaku
Romelu Lukaku has agreed to join Juventus and his transfer now hinges on whether Paulo Dybala decides to move to Manchester United.
Dybala, 25, could join United in a swap deal and is believed to be asking for €10million a year net. Dybala currently earns €7.5m per year at Juve.
The Argentinian was due to meet with Juve coach Maurizio Sarri once he had returned from holiday following his Copa America commitments but United are already in negotiations to sign Dybala.
Lukaku, 26, was originally intent on joining Inter Milan but their failure to match United’s £80m valuation has allowed Juventus to intervene and offer Dybala as a replacement.
United insist they remain in dialogue with Inter, as well as Dybala’s camp, on the off-chance the Nerazzurri stump up the cash for Lukaku.
United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward and head of corporate development Matt Judge are holding dialogue with prospective targets’ representatives from United’s London offices in Mayfair.
Juve also value Dybala at circa £80m, which has made the possibility of a swap deal with Lukaku relatively routine, especially since United only have until next Thursday’s Premier League deadline to offset the potential departure of Lukaku.
Although Dybala would represent a switch back to their superstar strategy, he fits United’s long-term age range and would be a possible solution for the right wing problem position.
Solskjaer has been reluctant to use a traditional number nine since he became United caretaker manager in December and Lukaku has started just 15 of the Norwegian’s 29 games in charge.
United lined up against Kristiansund on Tuesday night with a front four of Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial, Jesse Lingard and new signing Daniel James, which could realistically be the starting quartet in next week’s Premier League opener against Chelsea.
United have a variable track record with signing attacking Argentinians; Juan Sebastian Veron and Carlos Tevez both left after two years but collected Premier League winner’s medals and, more recently, Angel di Maria fled to Paris less than a year after signing.
Inter’s efforts to sign Lukaku began to crumble when their chief executive Beppe Marotta undermined the Belgian’s value on Monday. Inter had a £54m bid rejected by United for Lukaku earlier this month and Marotta said United’s valuation was ‘really high’.
Marotta’s comments have mystified United, who believe they are entitled to demand at least £75m – which is what they paid for Lukaku two years ago.
In the same summer, Inter outpriced United from signing winger Ivan Perisic as they held out for £50m even though the Croat was 28-years-old.