Barcelona have not discarded the possibility of signing Paulo Dybala, according to a report from Francesc Aguilar in Mundo Deportivo. The Juventus star has been strongly linked with a move to the Camp Nou for a while now, although it seemed unlikely to happen as Barça had shifted focus to capturing Ousmane Dembele (Borussia Dortmund) and Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool). However, with Liverpool insisting on blocking Coutinho’s move, the Catalans have set their sights on Dybala again.
Barça apparently balked at Juve’s asking price of 120 million euro, but given that BVB and Liverpool both want fees in that range for their players, the Blaugrana don’t see the operation as peculiarly expensive anymore. And Mundo Deportivo says Juventus are willing to accept players as part of the deal, with Andre Gomes a favorite to be included. In theory this could facilitate the deal. Juve also apparently want Rafinha and Ivan Rakitic, but Ernesto Valverde considers the latter indispensable.
Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez reportedly had phone conversations with Coutinho about joining, but Aguilar says Messi prefers Dybala most of all. Argentina boss Jorge Sampaoli is thought to consider Dybala and Messi’s partnership the basis of the Albiceleste team to send to the upcoming World Cup if they qualify, which should only increase Messi’s desire to play with his compatriot.
However, Juventus won’t let him go that easily. They recently gave him the coveted #10 shirt, and Dybala still feels grateful towards them for giving him a chance to shine after signing him from Palermo. The rumor is either Dybala will leave for Barcelona or stay in Turin. No other destination seems likely.
The biggest question though, is where exactly he would fit into a team with Messi, Suarez, and potentially, Dembele.