Rio Ferdinand Questions Paulo Dybala's 'Minerals' Amid Manchester United Rumours

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistAugust 12, 2019

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 31: Rio Ferdinand looks on before the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United at Wembley Stadium on January 31, 2018 in London, England.  (Photo by Chris Brunskill Ltd/Getty Images)
Chris Brunskill Ltd/Getty Images

Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has said he's happy Paulo Dybala didn't join the team in the summer transfer window and has questioned whether the Argentina star has the "minerals" for the Old Trafford club.

Dybala has been linked with a possible exit from Juventus throughout pre-season, with the Red Devils one of the teams mentioned.

According to Sky Sports News, United eventually ended their interest in the striker because of his wage demands and "excessive requests" from his agent. Speaking to the Daily Star, Ferdinand said he is pleased the transfer didn't come off with that in mind:

"A lot of players have declined coming to Man Utd in recent years. They've chosen somewhere else. But I don't know how Dybala had the audacity to turn them down when he's on the bench at Juventus. He needs to start playing some football.

"Maybe he's thinking: 'I want to be Champions League or I'll sit on the bench. I'd rather do that than play at Man Utd.'

"Well, I'm happy he didn't come, then because you haven't got the right minerals that I want in a Man Utd player! I want someone who wants to come and thinks: 'Man Utd need to get back to being a top team, I want to be the catalyst'. That's the type of person you want to come through the door."

Dybala was also linked with a move to Tottenham Hotspur, although Spurs were unable to get a deal over the line. According to Gazzetta dello Sport (h/t Football Italia), Dybala's agent is set to hold talks with Paris Saint-Germain about a possible transfer.

When speaking about the forward's future recently, Bianconeri manager Maurizio Sarri offered no guarantees:

AS English @English_AS

Juventus boss Sarri: "Dybala may be cut from UCL squad" https://t.co/0pGwf9Q7bc https://t.co/8Mama84Kpm

United decided to sell Romelu Lukaku to Inter Milan before Thursday's transfer deadline passed, and they opted against bringing in a replacement centre-forward.

In their Premier League opener on Sunday against Chelsea, the Red Devils were sharp in attack. Anthony Martial led the line well and got on the scoresheet, while Marcus Rashford played in an advanced role on the left flank, scoring twice in the 4-0 win.

Former Norway international Jan Aage Fjortoft praised United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer for keeping faith with the players at his disposal:

Jan Aage Fjortoft 🏳️‍🌈 🇳🇴 @JanAageFjortoft

You’re selling your striker!! You don’t get a new striker!! You trust Rashford and Martial!! Rashford has scored two Martial has scored one Been a good day for Ole G

Miguel Delaney of The Independent said there were signs of increased maturity in the play of Martial and Rashford:

Miguel Delaney @MiguelDelaney

For two players that have had their development/maturity questioned, Rashford and Martial have shown how much Chelsea missing that more mature higher quality. Literally the difference.

The prospect of Dybala linking up with that duo would have been an exciting one for United supporters, albeit the club decided to walk away from a deal. It means there'll be an increased onus on Alexis Sanchez, Jesse Lingard and Mason Greenwood to contribute, in addition to the duo mentioned.

As for Dybala, his future remains unclear as the European transfer deadlines edge closer. He's shone in spells at Juventus, although he hasn't showcased the consistency needed to be considered a world-class player. A transfer and a set of fresh challenges may yet be the catalyst for that.