Cristiano Ronaldo’s future at Manchester United has been thrown into doubt recently, with the 37-year-old yet to show up for pre-season training despite the full squad returning from holiday earlier this week.
Speculation surrounding his future is unwanted noise from United’s perspective but on the pitch, his potential departure could have serious repercussions.
United have not made a concerted effort to sign a forward this summer but their hand may be forced now, with former Juventus star Paulo Dybala among those to be linked.
Earlier this week, it emerged that Dybala had no concrete proposals for a move and the 28-year-old was now ready to evaluate offers from outside of Italy.
Initially, it was looking like a move to Inter was likely but that idea has been placed on the backburner, with the Nerazzurri CEO Beppe Marotta refusing to commit to a deal publicly.
“Dybala is one of a number of out of contract players. He is an opportunity. However, we have an excellent set of strikers. There needs to be courage and belief in youth,” he said, according to BBC journalist Simon Stone.
Now, it looks like there have been developments in the story recently, with reports from Italy suggesting that United are advancing a move for the Argentina international.
That’s according to Sky Italy journalist Angelo Mangiante, who says that negotiations between United and Dybala’s representatives are ongoing.
— Angelo Mangiante (@angelomangiante) July 5, 2022
There’s a shortage of strikers on the market and United are working with a limited budget. Thus, their alleged interest in Dybala is understandable.
Dybala is a free agent after leaving Juventus this summer, having failed to reach an agreement over a new contract after the Turin club introduced a new salary cap.
Dybala was infamously close to joining the club three years ago but a move collapsed at the 11th hour due to the player’s high wage demands.
In terms of player profile, he certainly fits the model Erik ten Hag would like to implement but there are also concerns over his fitness and availability.