Report: Manchester United Have 'Pulled the Plug' on Paulo Dybala Transfer Talks

James Dudko@@JamesDudkoFeatured ColumnistAugust 4, 2019

Paulo Dybala of Juventus FC during the UEFA Champions League quarter final match between Juventus FC  and Ajax Amsterdam at the Allianz Arena on April 16, 2019 in Turin, Italy(Photo by VI Images via Getty Images)
VI-Images/Getty Images

Paulo Dybala isn't interested in leaving Juventus to join Manchester United this summer, and the Red Devils reportedly know it.

The Daily Telegraph's James Ducker has reported that United have "pulled the plug" on signing Dybala. It's a decision born from the Premier League side's belief there is a "reluctance to leave" Turin from the striker.

Dybala has been the subject of talks aimed at striking a swap deal for centre-forward Romelu Lukaku. However, the Argentina international has informed his agent he doesn't want to move to Manchester, and will instead join his Juve teammates at training on Monday, per La Gazzetta dello Sport and Sky Sport Italia (h/t Football Italia).

Lukaku's future still appears set to be away from Manchester, though, with BBC Sport's Simon Stone reporting the Belgium international is no longer wanted. Meanwhile, United's mooted interest in talented Sporting Lisbon midfielder Bruno Fernandes has been played down:

Simon Stone @sistoney67

United could sell Lukaku without bringing in replacement. They are still looking at transfer options but not at Bruno Fernandes, who is not on OGS’s list. https://t.co/G6YPfzOML5

Dybala being lukewarm about the idea isn't the only thing standing in the way of a potential deal, with United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer "determined only to bring in players who are fully committed to being part of the club's project," according to Ducker.

The same source additionally noted how "Dybala wanted parity with United's top earners, such as Alexis Sanchez, David De Gea and Paul Pogba, and there are also believed to have been complications over the player's image rights."

It leaves United still trying to shift under-performing big earners such as Lukaku. The need to cash in is compounded by the imminent deal to sign Harry Maguire from Leicester City, with Ducker expecting the England international centre-back's £80 million arrival to be made official on Monday.

While the Old Trafford club are facing some complications during the final days of this transfer window, they are nothing compared to the uncertainties surrounding Dybala.

The 25-year-old must now begin the work of salvaging his career with Juve. It won't be easy, especially with his former representation Star Image suing him for breaching contract, a lawsuit that prompted a legal letter from the agents warning United they might have to pay as much as €40 million if they acquired Dybala, per La Gazzetta dello Sport (h/t Football Italia).

On the pitch, Dybala needs to prove he can co-exist with Cristiano Ronaldo. The South American also needs to show he's ready to be more consistent in a bid to reach his full potential.

Squawka Football @Squawka

COMPARED: Paulo Dybala 2017-18 vs. Cristiano Ronaldo 2018-19 in Serie A. It looks like there's only room for one sheriff in Turin... https://t.co/0JnM8VGojW

At his best, Dybala is a classy forward who possesses vision, flair and the coolness in front of goal to decide matches. However, those qualities yielded a mere five goals and four assists in Serie A last season, leaving Dybala on a mission to impress new manager Maurizio Sarri.

Dybala will likely be given every opportunity to win Sarri over, but Lukaku may not get the same chance under Solskjaer. The former Chelsea and Everton man seems surplus to requirements, despite an enviable scoring ratio:

The Sun - Man Utd @SunManUtd

Is Paulo Dybala really the better player? 🤔 https://t.co/B4DDoUplVH

United appear set up top with Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial, while 17-year-old Mason Greenwood looks like an exciting prospect. It means Lukaku, who continues to be linked with Juve's domestic rivals Inter Milan, per Jack Rosser of the London Evening Standard, will remain on the market.