The rumour mill has produced an outstanding story for the final week of the January transfer window, with Juventus striker Paulo Dybala claimed to be a Liverpool target.
As expected, it has been a quiet mid-season for the Reds, with only three departures and two returning loanees on the docket for the club’s recruitment staff.
But fear not, as sources in Italy are now claiming Liverpool will consider a push for Juventus forward Dybala if, as believed, Dusan Vlahovic completes his move to Turin from Fiorentina.
Transfer outlet TuttoMercatoWeb report that the Reds are “carefully observing” the player’s situation, with his contract due to expire at the end of the season.
Dybala would be keen to move to Liverpool
— Tancredi Palmeri (@tancredipalmeri) January 26, 2022
The story has, unsurprisingly, gained a lot of traction, Dybala’s name dominating coverage from the Liverpool Echo in particular, while fans have discussed the possibility of a move:
I'm in no doubt that Dybala won't be signing for Liverpool. For a multitude of reasons. But I like him so am allowed to want it to happen ?
— Jason Roberts (@JaseRoberts_) January 26, 2022
Paulo Dybala is on £225k per week at Juventus and would demand more elsewhere to sign on a free.
But you have journalists linking him to Liverpool, who won't give their best player what he wants? Right.
— Laurie (@LFCLaurie) January 26, 2022
Dybala is going to be 29 by November of next season and i’m hearing people say that Liverpool should sign him ?? He’s super inconsistent and has barely performed in big games. The guy’s a massive false image. Stay away from my club, go flop at City or something.
— Rohin (@rohinIfc) January 27, 2022
The only way this makes sense is if you're playing career mode on FIFA. https://t.co/SzuwVM5YNI
— Sam McGuire (@SamMcGuire90) January 26, 2022
There are clearly doubts among supporters that Dybala will be playing for Liverpool in the future, and rightly so, as it is highly unlikely a deal would come to fruition.
While it would formally be a free transfer, with the forward able to reach a pre-contract agreement with clubs outside of Italy as of January 1, there would be a high cost involved regardless.
Signing-on fees would be required for both Dybala and his agent, which would almost certainly land in the seven or even eight-figure region, while his salary demands have been presented as one of the factors behind a possible exit from Juventus.
Given Liverpool are yet to conclude talks over a club-record contract extension for Mohamed Salah – the best player in the world – there would almost certainly be a reluctance to bring Dybala in on a sizeable wage.
He could, in theory, arrive as a replacement for either Sadio Mane or Roberto Firmino, who will have a year left on their deals this summer, but turning 29 himself later this year, it would hardly be a smart piece of business.
The credibility of the outlets reporting on Liverpool’s interest cannot be overlooked either, with it rare – if ever – that the likes of Gazzetta dello Sport, TuttoMercatoWeb or Sport Mediaset can be trusted when it comes to transfer rumours.
Dybala may have been a dream signing for the Reds seven years ago, when he made the switch from Palermo to Juventus, but the ship has almost certainly sailed on this one.
Chalk it down to agent talk, with only five months left on his contract – it’s not exactly the first time Liverpool’s name has been dropped in negotiations…