Man Utd's pre-season schedule as Red Devils head for Australia
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Chelsea may well have handed Manchester United a clear run at free agent Paulo Dybala with the former Juventus attacker having emerged as a potential replacement for Cristiano Ronaldo. Inter Milan were thought to have been leading the race to snap up the forward, however, having re-signed Romelu Lukaku on loan from the Blues, the Italian giants appear to have cooled their interest in Dybala, paving the way for the Red Devils to push for his signature.
Speaking to the Italian press on Tuesday, Inter director Beppe Marotta implied the Nerazzurri were content with their attacking options having already secured a deal to bring Lukaku back to the San Siro the summer. The Italian chief’s comments appear to have seen the Serie A side pour cold water on suggestions Dybala could also join the club in the current transfer window.
“Dybala is part of the many players available for free,” Marotta told reporters. “I had never seen so many and it proves that football is changing and that more courage is needed at a youth level.
“Dybala represented and still represents an opportunity, but we are ok in attack with valuable players who the coach will need to manage in the best way – even if I have a solid bond with Dybala.”
United are understood to have made contact with the 28-year-old’s agents according to reports in Italy. Should the Red Devils end up being successful in their pursuit of the attacker, who could potentially replace Ronaldo following his request to move on this summer, Erik ten Hag’s team will have Chelsea to thank.
The Blues’ willingness to allow Lukaku to rejoin Inter on loan appears to have been the catalyst in deterring the Italian side from completing a deal for Dybala. Last season’s Serie A runners-up were thought to have been in pole position to swoop for the striker, who somewhat unceremoniously departed Juventus early this summer following a fractious few months of negotiations over a potential new deal in Turin.
It was thought that Dybala could also join Lukaku in Milan, however, with regards to alternative attacking options at Inter’s disposal, it now appears unlikely that Alexis Sanchez and Edin Dzeko or Joaquin Correa will leave. United are thought to face competition for Dybala’s services from the likes of AC Milan, Napoli and Atletico Madrid, as well as Premier League rivals Arsenal.
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While Chelsea’s decision may indirectly see United land Dybala, Thomas Tuchel’s side could potentially benefit from their own transfer activity themselves. Should United secure the former Juventus frontman, they may be more inclined to bow to Ronaldo’s transfer demands and allow him to leave.
The Blues new owner Todd Boehly is reportedly interested in signing wantaway United superstar Ronaldo and is thought to have already met with the player’s iconic agent, Jorge Mendes, to discuss the possibility of striking a deal to bring the Portuguese forward to Stamford Bridge. Bayern Munich have also been linked.
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