Paulo Dybala: Juventus Would be Crazy to Sacrifice the Argentine for the Sake of Cristiano Ronaldo

​Paulo Dybala’s future at Juventus is in doubt after it emerged that the Serie A champions would be willing to part company with their Argentine forward.

He has cut a forlorn figure in Turin since the acquisition of Cristiano Ronaldo last summer, the five time Ballon d’Or winner’s cataclysmic impact on the club leaving Dybala as something of a forgotten man. Reduced game-time and importance to the team have taken their toll, with it now appearing that the 25-year-old will leave the Allianz Stadium in the upcoming transfer window.

Despite ​Ronaldo’s eminence, the ​Juve hierarchy would be foolish to sanction the sale of one of their prime talents. No one doubts the Portuguese’s prodigious quality, but he cannot sustain his performance levels for much longer.

At the end of the next campaign he will be 35; ​Dybala has almost a decade more of football left in him. There is undoubtedly a role for the Argentina international that will not infringe upon that of Ronaldo, it will just require some tinkering from Massimiliano Allegri to find what that is exactly.

It would be senseless to allow Dybala to leave when the ex-​Real Madrid superstar will likely make bid the Bianconeri farewell in 12 months time; a long-term future can be built around the former, whereas Ronaldo is merely an attempt at a quick fix to secure ​Champions League glory.

Moreover, in his mid-20s he is far from reaching his prime. The best is yet to come from a man who has already achieved so much in his career. What a waste it would be for Juventus if they were to nurture him during his fledgling years, only to let a rival reap the rewards once he has fully matured.

Paulo Dybala

The arrival of ​Aaron Ramsey from ​Arsenal seems to be one of the reasons behind the club’s willingness to sell. The pair may be similar in their creative capacities, but it is not as though they wouldn’t be able to play together.

The Welshman operates well as a floating midfielder, while Dybala can play across the frontline or just off the leading striker. To justify the latter’s exit with the entrance of Ramsey is simply ludicrous.

Of course, one may point to his poor goal return this campaign to vindicate a transfer away from the side. The ex-Palermo player has scored just five times in ​Serie A this term, a pitiful total for an attacker with 27 appearances in a team that rule Italy with an iron fist at present.

However, he struck the same number in just nine Champions League matches this year, demonstrating his abilities at the highest level. Significantly, that tally is more in line with his performances from yesteryear.

In his first three seasons with Juventus, Dybala racked up 23, 19 and 26 goals, respectively. In a similar vein, he hit 13 for a distinctly average Palermo outfit in his final year with the Sicilians. He evidently possesses huge amounts of talent for a man so young, the likes of which Juve could regret letting go.

Returning to his uncharacteristically low goal total in 2018/19, that is largely a result of being played in unfamiliar positions. Allegri’s refusal to give Dybala his preferred role would unsettle anyone, resulting in a downturn in form.

Once Ronaldo moves on and the frontman resumes his regular duties, the goals should once again be flowing freely. Unfortunately for the club, his underwhelming exploits this season have taken a hit on his value.

The fee that the Old Lady will want is probably much higher than what will be offered from potential suitors; how can they demand anything remotely close to a nine-figure sum for a player who has been misfiring for months?

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The answer is that they can’t. Given the absurd state of the transfer market in recent times, Dybala’s price-tag would have been in and around the £100m mark prior to this campaign. 

The Italian giants will still no doubt make a profit on the man the signed for €32m plus add-ons in 2015, but selling now would not maximise the amount they could earn, increasing the feeling that Dybala’s sale would be a misstep from Allegri’s team.

With three years left to run on his current deal at the Allianz it’s not as though Juve are at any risk of losing him for nothing. They can afford to give the Argentine time to rediscover his superb form of previous campaigns.

There is no harm in waiting one more year, by the end of which the talismanic Ronaldo may decided to move on to pastures new. In that case, they will require another mercurial talent capable of single-handedly dismantling opponents; a confident, firing Dybala fits the bill.

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Tanguy Ndombélé: The Contenders to Sign Him & Where He Might End Up

​With his performances for Lyon this season, Tanguy Ndombélé has grabbed the attention of some of the biggest clubs in Europe.

The Frenchman has been integral to Lyon this season, with his unique blend of technical ability and physicality causing problems for opposition teams – particularly Manchester City in both of their Champions League ties earlier this season.

With speculation rife over a potential summer exit, here’s a rundown of the teams who’ve been linked with Ndombélé throughout this season and how likely a move to each club actually is.


                   

       Tottenham Hotspur

Mauricio Pochettino

Whilst Moussa Sissoko has had his best campaign at ​Tottenham, the north London side are lacking in depth and quality in central midfield. Harry Winks also had an excellent campaign but ​Eric Dier has suffered with injuries and has regressed this season. 

Victor Wanyama, meanwhile, has also suffered with injuries and has been out of favour for the majority of the campaign.​ All of these central midfielders are more defensive minded players and with Mauricio Pochettino expecting funds to be available this summer, the ​Champions League semi-finalists could make an offer for Ndombélé. 

However, the biggest stumbling block for Spurs will be their wage structure. Tottenham look to be assured of a place in the Champions League, barring a disaster in their final two ​Premier League games but have spent very little money in recent years and cannot match the wages paid by the likes of Manchester City, Manchester United or PSG.

Although they retain an interest in the Frenchman, they may not have the financial resources to make the deal happen.

Likelihood rating: 4/10


Paris Saint-Germain

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Ndombélé would bolster this PSG side in an area which is considered one of the weakest in the team. Manager Thomas Tuchel has struggled to find a consistent midfield partnership with ​Dani Alves, Marquinhos and Ángel Di María all being used as make-shift central midfielders at times this season, while Adrien Rabiot will be leaving on a free transfer in the summer.

This will leave Marco Verratti, Leandro Paredes and Christopher Nkunku as the only recognised central midfielders at the club. Despite heavy investment into the team, central midfield is an area that has been neglected by PSG and signing Ndombélé would weaken one of their biggest rivals whilst strengthening themselves simultaneously

PSG have been listed by Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas as one of the clubs in the running for Ndombélé but considering the rivalry between the clubs, it is unlikely that the 22-year-old will be sold to Thomas Tuchel’s side.

Likelihood rating: 5/10


Manchester City

Josep Guardiola

Ndombélé delivered two eye-catching performances against ​Manchester City in the group stages of the Champions League, notably helping his side beat the Premier League leaders at the Etihad. 

Fernandinho has been in magnificent form for Manchester City in recent seasons but now 33, the Citizens are known on the lookout for a young central midfielder. With İlkay Gündoğan proving in City’s title run-in that he is more than an apt direct replacement for Fernandinho in the holding role, City could look to sign Ndombélé to play on the right-side of central midfield, where Gündoğan has previously played. 

City, however, seem to be diverting their attention towards ​Atletico Madrid midfielder Rodri and consequently may abandon any attempt to pursue Ndombélé. Furthermore, City have an abundance of talent in central areas with the aforementioned two as well as ​David Silva​Bernardo Silva​Kevin De Bruyne and ​Phil Foden, so Ndombélé may struggle to get regular playing time.

Likelihood rating: 6/10


Manchester United

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas has confirmed that ​Manchester United are also interested in signing the 22-year-old, with the Red Devils expected to undergo a midfield overhaul this summer.

Ander Herrera has being strongly linked with a summer exit to PSG and constant ​speculation linking Paul Pogba with a move away from the club refuses to go away.

​Fred, meanwhile, has endured a poor debut season at Old Trafford whilst ​Nemanja Matic‘s best days appear to be behind him. Scott McTominay has applied himself well under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer but doesn’t look to be the long-term central midfield solution for United.

Ndombélé may want to be playing Champions League football next season and this may count against United as they are currently in sixth-place in the Premier League, three points behind fourth-placed ​Chelsea with an inferior goal-difference. 

However, the club has shown previously that they are able to attract big-name players without the allure of Champions League football. In the summer of 2016, Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic arrived at Old Trafford when the the club was set to spend a campaign in the Europa League.

Likelihood rating: 7/10


Juventus

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Jean-Michel Aulas named ​Juventus as one of the clubs interested in signing ​Ndombélé and said that he would like the midfielder to join the Serie A champions – so this instantly makes the Italian giants one of the favourites to sign the 22-year-old Frenchman.

The prospect of lining up alongside ​Cristiano Ronaldo makes Juventus an attractive proposition in the market for any player and their spending in recent years shows that they are able to pay large transfer fees and wages, which Ndombélé’s transfer is likely to bring

However, there is uncertainty surrounding the future of manager Massimiliano Allegri and this could dissuade him from choosing Juventus.

Likelihood rating: 8/10


Real Madrid

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​With reports that ​Real Madrid have opened talks with ​Ndombélé’s representatives, Los Blancos appear to be in pole position to sign the Frenchman.

​Luka Modric and ​Toni Kroos have been an integral part of a Real side that won four European Cups in five years but have struggled this season and with both players aged 29 and over, Real’s midfield is badly lacking in pace, energy and athleticism, all of which Ndombélé can provide.

With his compatriot Zidane at the helm, Ndombélé could be provided with a mentor who helps him adapt to a new league and new country, this could be the deciding factor in the Frenchman’s choice of new club.

Likelihood rating: 9/10


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Matthijs de Ligt Agent ‘Prefers’ Big Money Move to Bayern, Juventus or Man Utd Over Barcelona

Super-agent Mino Raiola is looking for the most economically profitable move possible for Matthijs de Ligt this summer, re-opening the door to Manchester United, Juventus and Bayern Munich

Superb performances in the Champions League for Ajax this season have seen De Ligt announce himself on the world stage, with the 19-year-old defender leading his team to the semi-finals of the competition for the first time this century.

The Dutch centre back has been integral to the Amsterdam side, but will almost certainly make the move away from Netherlands in the summer, with ​Barcelona considered strong favourites to sign him.

Matthijs de Ligt

As reported by Catalan daily ​Mundo Deportivo, the defender is believed to prefer a move to Camp Nou, following in the footsteps of his teammate Frenkie de Jong, who will make the move to Barça at the end of this season after confirming his €75m move in January.

This transfer would make a lot of sense. The footballing philosophies of both clubs are very similar, and De Ligt’s transition to the Barcelona style of play would be fairly seamless.

However, the 19 year-old’s agent Mino Raiola is believed to prefer a move elsewhere, with ​Juventus, ​Manchester United and ​Bayern Munich all interested in the centre back’s signature. 

Raiola’s motivation behind this is due to the greater financial gain that a move to these clubs would bring.

Carmine Raiola

Due to the high demand for the teenager’s services, his agent could opt to spark a bidding war between these clubs in order to drive up the offer on the table. United, Bayern and Juve are all in need of defensive reinforcements for one reason or another, and with financial power of these clubs, Raiola may have dollar signs in his eyes.

De Ligt will be coming up against ​Tottenham Hotspur in the ​Champions League on Tuesday night in the first leg of Ajax’s semi-final with the north London club. Another positive performance there would only enhance the Dutchman’s reputation and inevitably inflate his transfer fee and wage demands.

Matthijs de Ligt

However, considering the significance of the semi-final, the centre-back may put thoughts about a transfer to the back of his mind as he looks to win Ajax their first European Cup in over 25 years.

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Real Madrid Open Tanguy Ndombele Talks But Lyon President Prefers Juventus Sale

​Real Madrid are looking to begin their summer revamp with talks already talking place with Olympique Lyonnais over a move for midfielder Tanguy Ndombele. However, Los Blancos face competition from Juventus. 

The France international has enjoyed a fabulous campaign for the Ligue 1 side, providing six assists in 29 league games, while also being a standout performer for them in this season’s Champions League. 

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The 22-year-old has already been ​linked with a host of European clubs in recent times – ​Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain to name a few – but according to Spanish media outlet ​AS, it appears ​Real Madrid have stolen a march on their European rivals.

The report claims that representatives of the midfielder – who is contracted to Lyon until 2023 – have travelled to Spain’s capital to conduct talks with Los Blancos over a view to a summer move, as Zinedine Zidane looks to overhaul his squad ahead of next season. 

Real Madrid will finish this season without winning a trophy due exiting both the ​Champions League and Copa del Rey before even reaching the respected finals, and appear set to finish third in ​La Liga, while having to watch ​Barcelona win the league this season. 

While the Spanish giants target younger players with potential, with the talented Ndombele certainly fitting the bill, Juve appear to be their biggest competition for the Frenchman, that is according to Lyon’s president Jean-Michel Aulas. 

The club president has even revealed that the Turin-based club would be the landing spot of Ndombele this summer if they were to receive the same offer from every prospected buyer.

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Speaking to Tuttosport (via ​Football Italia) he said: “It’s true that Juventus are after Ndombele. 

But there’s also PSG, Manchester United and City. I’d honestly like to see Ndombele at Juventus with Pjanic, a player we launched at Lyon and who I’m still very attached to.

“We’ll see what happens. I won’t talk about money. Economic parameters are the priority when selling players, but I’d like to sell him to Andrea Agnelli if all the offers were the same.”

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Massimiliano Allegri Provides Update on Juventus Future Amid Exit Rumours

​Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri has insisted that he will stay at the club for at least another season despite reports suggesting that he could depart the Allianz Stadium this summer.

Having cantered to an eighth successive Serie A title, with five of them coming under Allegri’s reign, the Bianconeri fell to a shock exit to Ajax in the Champions League quarter-finals, leading to speculation that Allegri’s time at the club could be up.

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However, the Italian was adamant that with one year left on his current contract, he would seek to stay the remainder of his deal there, before then discussing his longer-term future with the club’s president.

When asked about his future, Allegri revealed (as quoted by ​Tutto Juve): “If I stay? We’ve already said it. I stay at ​Juventus! I still have a year of contract, then we’ll meet with the president.”

The Italian also revealed that Juventus’ exit in the last eight of the Champions League to Ajax was more down to the growing quality of many European teams in recent seasons, and admitted that it was a ‘difficult’ competition to win.

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He added: “It is such a competition, it is difficult. There are teams that have taken so many years to win. Some will say that Juve has not won the cup for 23 years and it is true, but in the last five years the European level of the team has risen considerably.”

With the ​Serie A title already secured, Juventus face Torino, AS Roma, Atalanta and Sampdoria in their final four games in the league, and have the opportunity to reach 100 points if they record victories in all their remaining matches.

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