Inter, Barcelona, Man Utd, Milan, PSG, Atletico or Spurs - Where next for Dybala after Juventus exit?

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Paulo Dybala Juventus Serie A 2021-22Getty

Blaise Matuidi was one of many Juventini surprised by the news that Paulo Dybala's contract will not be renewed.

"I don't think it will be easy at all to replace him," the former Bianconeri midfielder told the Gazzetta dello Sport.

"He has done fantastic things over the years, the fans adore him and they will never forget him. 

“But I am sure he will find a club that will allow him to improve and do well."

Matuidi was certainly correct when he said it will be difficult for Juventus to replace a player who has scored 113 goals in all competitions for the club.

However, as Maurizio Arrivabene rather brutally outlined, Dybala was no longer "central" to their sporting project after the January arrival of Dusan Vlahovic, meaning retaining the services of an injury-prone 28-year-old on a multi-million euro contract made zero financial sense.

Perhaps even more disappointingly for Dybala, he may not find a club perfectly suited to his skillset as Matuidi believes.

True, the Argentina international will not be short of suitors, given he will be available for nothing this summer, but he may not have as many attractive options as he would like.

As GOAL outlines below, very few top teams presently have either the room or the resources to add Dybala to their squads, even if things could change come the end of the season...

Atletico Madrid

Diego Simeone has been following Dybala's career "since he was a youngster" and watched with interest as his compatriot began to make a name for himself at Palermo before becoming a star Juventus.

However, the Atletico boss lashed out at the media in 2018 when a chance meeting in a Madrid restaurant was portrayed as a surreptitious attempt to lure the forward to Atletico.

Given we are in the middle of an international break, it remains unclear what Simeone makes of the latest reporters linking Dybala with a move to the Wanda Metropolitano, but one can be sure that it will come up in his press conference ahead of Saturday's Liga clash with Alaves.

All we can say for now is that in spite of Simeone's obvious admiration for his fellow Argentine, it still seems unlikely that Dybala will end up at Atleti.

While the out-of-favour Luis Suarez is expected to depart this summer, creating a need to bring in an orthodox No.9, the Rojiblancos are presently well-stocked in terms of playmakers and support strikers.

Unless one of Angel Correa, Joao Felix, Matheus Cunha or Antoine Griezmann also departs this summer, Simeone simply could not justify signing Dybala.

Manchester United

It was inevitable that as soon as Dybala's imminent Juventus exit was confirmed, he would be linked with Manchester United.

After all, he came desperately close to moving to Old Trafford in 2019 as part of a deal that would have seen Romelu Lukaku move in the other direction.

Back then, the prospect of leaving Juve had reduced Dybala the tears. But now the idea of ending up at United might provoke the same sadness!

However, it would be a surprise if United were still interested in Dybala. He certainly would not resolve any of their problem positions.

Paulo Dybala Juventus Manchester United Champions League GFX
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Granted, United need to strengthen their attack this summer but, with Edinson Cavani set to leave and Cristiano Ronaldo's future uncertain, their focus is on signing a prolific centre-forward, while they are also desperate to replace out-of-contract midfielder Paul Pogba, which is an expensive proposition.

So, Dybala just does not fit the bill at all.

United may have become synonymous with bizarre buys, while things could change when the identify of the new permanent manager is revealed, but this particular mooted move just does not make sense at all right now.

Paris Saint-Germain

PSG are tipped to sign every single high-profile player on the market, so it has not come as a surprise to see the Ligue 1 leaders linked with Dybala.

Sporting director Leonardo certainly loves shopping in Serie A, while the Parisians snapped up one free agent after another last summer.

However, "the greatest transfer window in football history" has, thus far, proved an absolute disaster for PSG, who are in utter disarray following their latest Champions League capitulation.

PSG Summer Signings 2021 GFX
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Indeed, while Dybala's wage demands would be absolutely no issue for the capital club – who could also have a massive void to fill in attack this summer, with Kylian Mbappe set to move to Real Madrid – it is impossible to predict PSG's plans right now.

We do not even know who the coach will be next season, while the future of the entire Qatari-funded project at the Parc des Princes is shrouded in uncertainty.

As it stands, then, Dybala is not presently high on PSG's list of priorities.

Barcelona

According to Dybala's former agent, Barcelona first made enquiries about signing the forward as far back as 2016. Dybala himself admitted not long after that he wanted to play alongside Lionel Messi, but that he could realise that "dream" with Argentina.

What subsequently became clear, though, was that the pair were incompataible. Dybala even admitted that it was difficult for him to excel in the same side as Messi, which caused quite the media storm at the time, and eventually prompted an apology.

So, with Messi having left Camp Nou, maybe Dybala could belatedly arrive? Barcelona do love a good free transfer these days, having been financially decimated by the reckless spending of the previous administration.

Paulo Dybala Lionel Messi Juventus Barcelona Champions League GFX
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It also remains to be seen whether Ousmane Dembele will leave the club when his contract expires this summer, and it has not yet been confirmed if Adama Traore's loan stay will be made permanent, so there could be voids to fill in attack.

However, Barcelona are flying again under Xavi, thanks to some smart signings and a plethora of promising young players, and the question has to be asked: Is Dybala really suited to the coach's preferred 4-3-3 formation?

Indeed, a gambler would probably be more inclined to put money on Messi returning to Camp Nou this summer than Dybala joining from Juve.

AC Milan

Paolo Maldini & Co. have done a wonderful job reducing the wage bill at San Siro over the last couple of years, while at the same time transforming the recklessly run Rossoneri into favourites for this season's Scudetto with a plethora of shrewd signings.

Could Dybala be the next potential game-changer to arrive? It seems unlikely right now, but it is not beyond the realms of possibility.

With Brahim Diaz still only sparkling sporadically, Milan would obviously be interested in acquiring a top-class No.10 for nothing.

Salary demands could well prove prohibitive for such prudent employers. However, if Zlatan Ibrahimovic's contract is not renewed, there would at least be room on the wage bill for high-profile player...

Tottenham

Tottenham boss Antonio Conte may have left Juventus the year before Dybala joined from Palermo, but Spurs' sporting director, Fabio Paratici, was still in Turin, working alongside Beppe Marotta, as the Bianconeri acquired one of the most promising young players in Serie A.

This link, coupled with the aforementioned attempt to sign Dybala in 2019, explains why a transfer to north London is now being touted.

Again, though, there are a lot of variables here.

Will Conte stay beyond the summer if his primary transfer targets are not acquired?

And would he even want a support striker like Dybala when he already has a class act like Son Heung-min starring alongside Harry Kane in attack?

Harry Kane Son Heung-min Tottenham Premier League 2021-22 GFX

And what of the England man? Will he leave at the end of another trophy-less season in pursuit of tangible success elsewhere?

Furthermore, would Dybala, at 28, really want to join a club that is unlikely to be playing in the Champions League next season?

So many questions, but so little certainty at the moment.

Inter

It is the move that Juventus fans fear most and, worryingly from their perspective, the one that arguably makes most sense.

Dybala wanted to stay in Turin. He is not only upset with his departure, but the way in which it has been handled.

Moving to Juve's most hated rivals would, thus, be the perfect way to stick two fingers up at those that discarded him in such a cold and abrupt manner.

However, Dybala joining Inter would be about far more than betrayal or revenge. It is probably the most logical move for a player settled in Italy.

Remember, Marotta is now Inter's CEO, and he is not just a market maestro renowned for making fantastic free transfers; he is also the man who signed Dybala for Juve.

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From a squad perspective, the Nerazzurri's primary objective is signing a young striker this summer, with Edin Dzeko having turned 36 earlier this month and now showing his age, but it is worth noting that Alexis Sanchez is set to leave San Siro this summer, thus creating space on Inter's wage bill for another second striker.

It is also worth bearing in mind that Inter may even listen to offers for their most valuable asset, Lautaro Martinez, this summer, given his profligacy and the opportunity his sale would present to completely overhaul the attack.

Handing Dybala a lucrative contract would obviously represent a risk because of his injury issues, but it might be one that Marotta is willing to take given there would be no transfer fee involved.