Real Madrid have been courting Juventus forward Paulo Dybala for several transfer windows now, but this summer could finally see the Argentina international arrive at the Bernabeu. It is somewhat fitting that, if Juventus are willing to let Dybala depart, the presence of Real Madrid legend Cristiano Ronaldo in Turin could be hugely influential in forcing the move. With Ronaldo the focal point for Juve, Dybala has found minutes on the pitch harder to come by.
Madrid are certainly more receptive to making Dybala their most important forward rather than a bit-part player, as evidenced by suggestions that they are ready to launch a €120 million bid in the summer. With Isco and Gareth Bale linked with departures from Madrid, there will be both financial and logistical scope to bring a new attacking player.
That possible departure of Bale could be the most significant in sparking a string of transfers between Europe’s leading clubs. The Welshman has looked increasingly uncomfortable in Madrid in recent months and could be tempted by a return to the more familiar climes of the Premier League. If Chelsea is his destination, then that would likely result in a straight swap with Eden Hazard making his long-mooted arrival in Madrid. Chelsea would understandably be reluctant to let Hazard depart, given their reliance on the Belgian in recent months.
Hazard was imperious in the 5-0 dismantling of Huddersfield, but those games are not the issue for Chelsea. The Blues were expected to dominate that clash, with social betting site betconnect noting that Hazard started the match having scored just three goals fewer this season than the entire Huddersfield squad, but it is matches like Chelsea’s 6-0 humiliation against Manchester City that will have Hazard eyeing up an exit. Chelsea’s erratic form will have punters wary of Maurizio Sarri’s side when looking at today’s Premier League bets, with rumours that Sarri is on borrowed time affecting both Chelsea’s current prospects and their future in the summer transfer window.
That could create a gap for Manchester United to steal Bale while Chelsea undergo another period of transition, which would be good news for Dybala’s chances of arriving in Spain. United are rumoured to be interested in the Juventus forward to the point where they would be Madrid’s main rival in the transfer market, but if they capture Bale then the need for Dybala decreases.
Of course, Madrid may consider the arrival of both Hazard and Dybala as essential in the rebuild of the forward line, but the prospect of Bale moving to Chelsea would make the allure of Hazard’s signature impossible to resist. While Dybala is a fine player, he is not yet at the talismanic level of Hazard.
Dybala has bagged just 2 goals in 20 Serie A appearances this season, although he has fared more productively in the Champions League. Those appearances have grown sparser throughout the season, with Dybala recently unable to contain his frustration at being overlooked. Named as a substitute, Dybala left the bench minutes before the final whistle against Parma when it was no longer possible for him to join the action.
This looks set to be a transfer saga that dominates the summer. At 25-years-old, Dybala is entering a crucial period of his career. The right transfer decision could be the difference between becoming world-class or falling short of his vast potential, but Real Madrid could be the perfect place for Dybala to call his home and strut his stuff.