As reported by Joe Short of the Daily Express, La Joya was linked with the Blaugrana during the summer and well before then, with some outlets even claiming a deal was close―despite the fact the 23-year-old accepted the iconic No. 10 shirt and signed a new contract last summer.
Dybala has stated his desire to stay with Juventus over and over again and did so again during the international break―while also questioning his fit alongside Messi, something Catalan fans won't like to hear:
“It is not easy to play with Messi because we play the same way.
[…] “The transfer market? I’m happy here, I’m fine and over these days I’ll be training as hard as I can to have a great season.”
Dybala didn't feature in the scoreless draw against Peru, and manager Jorge Sampaoli's decision not to use the in-form attacker drew plenty of criticism.
Kyle Bonn of NBC Sports Soccer didn't understand:
Kyle Bonn @the_bonnfire
I know I'm oversimplifying things immensely, but the fact that Dybala doesn't find the field for ARG in a must-win game is shocking yo me2017-10-6 01:15:09
The draw put Argentina in real danger of missing out on the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Despite the desperate need for a goal, both Dybala and Mauro Icardi didn't get their chance.
It's hard to argue with Dybala's scoring form:
B/R Football @brfootball
9️⃣ goals 6️⃣ matches Paulo Dybala is the first player this century to start the Serie A season with that record 💎⚽️🔥 https://t.co/hVtT1qx5RN2017-9-23 19:38:31
Dybala's comments about his fit alongside Messi may have led to his spot on the bench―Sampaoli went out of his way to excuse the statement in an interview with Mundo Deportivo (via Football Espagna).
He previously told reporters he too would rather not play the two together, per Goal's Sacha Pisani.
It was previously believed Messi's presence could help Barcelona land Dybala, but if the young forward questions their compatibility, it could now be the opposite. As one of the best players in the world and a club icon, Messi will not be leaving Catalonia anytime soon.
Dybala has been linked with most top clubs around Europe, but like Messi, he's not expected to switch teams in the near future. Juventus have marked the 23-year-old as their central building block, handing him a hefty raise in April and the club's most beloved shirt a few months later.
With no release clause in the contract, clubs would likely have to spend a fee close to Neymar's transfer record to convince the Bianconeri to sell, and even then, Dybala might opt not to join Messi out of fears their issues persist.