Arsenal and Tottenham both look set to miss out on the free-transfer signing of Paulo Dybala with the player closing in on a free transfer move elsewhere.
The 28-year-old is leaving Juventus this summer after seven seasons and having amassed 113 goals in 285 appearances. Talks over a new deal have been going on for months, but the two parties have not been able to reach an agreement. As such, the Argentina forward will depart Turin as a free agent – and seemingly with his choice of several top sides.
Understandably, interest in Dybala has not been short in coming. Atletico Madrid were the first to show their hand as they seek a replacement for Luis Suarez.
And there has been strong interest from the Premier League too. Arsenal, who themselves need to find at least one new forward this summer, reportedly made a move with Edu offering Dybala a significant double promise.
There was rival interest from Tottenham too. Director Fabio Paratici and manager Antonio Conte both know the player well from their time in Italy, with the former a close associate.
Perhaps more ambitiously, Newcastle had also recently thrown their hat into the ring.
Indeed, moves to all three English sides will have seen Dybala earning a significant salary increase on his current Juve earnings.
Furthermore, and in the case of Arsenal and Newcastle, Dybala would also be almost certainly guaranteed a starting berth.
Inter Milan in driving seat
However, it seems money isn’t everything and the trio have seemingly been snubbed for another suitor in Inter Milan.
As per il Gazzetta dello Sport, Dybala and his agent are in advanced talks with Inter over the switch.
The Italian champions can offer Dybala something that neither English side can: the chance for the player not to uproot his family.
Indeed, Inter’s training base is less than 130 kilometres from Dybala’s house, meaning he can stay put in his family home.
And that, along with Inter’s seemingly guaranteed place in next season’s Champions League, appears to have won the day.
There is no timeline on when il Gazzetta expect Dybala to sign. However, negotiations are not likely to be an issue. As such, the player will reportedly make the move at the end of the season.
Paolo Di Canio warned Arsenal, Spurs off Paulo Dybala
News that they have missed out on Dybala will come as a blow to his Premier League suitors.
That said, former West Ham and Celtic striker Paolo Di Canio had warned Arsenal and Tottenham off a deal.
Raising questions about the player’s mentality, he claims Dybala isn’t a player to have in the trenches and when things aren’t going their way.
“It’s true that he could become a technical leader. But I cannot have an emotionally fragile one,” Di Canio told il Corriere dello Sport.
“If things go well, he turns up in games. But if things go wrong, I define him almost as a big cry baby.”
READ MORE: ‘Time is up’ – Ian Wright demands Arteta drops ‘found out’ Arsenal star
Contract update emerges as six players are set to leave Reading FC
Championship outfit Reading are set to release Orjan Nyland, Terell Thomas, Brandon Barker, Alen Halilovic, Felipe Arauna and Marc McNulty this summer, according to an update from Berkshire Live.
The Royals have several first-teamers out of contract this summer and will be keen to tie many of those players down to new deals – but will be forced to release some due to the need to reduce their wage bill.
If they fail to do so, they will be punished with a further six-point sanction from the EFL next term with the governing body and the second-tier side agreeing to a business plan back in November.
Quiz: Can you name which club Reading FC sold these 23 players to from the last decade?
This hasn’t stopped the second-tier outfit from attempting to strike agreements with some of their key assets though, with Andy Yiadom, John Swift, Josh Laurent, Tom Holmes, Andy Rinomhota, Femi Azeez and Junior Hoilett all thought to have been offered new deals.
According to the same outlet, Swift has been offered a new three-year deal at the Select Car Leasing Stadium, though it’s currently unclear whether he will put pen to paper with interest from elsewhere. Yiadom is expected to extend his stay in Berkshire though.
Six players that may not be so lucky are Nyland, Thomas, Barker, Halilovic, Araruna and McNulty, with the latter five failing to make a real impact during their time at the club. Nyland, however, was one of the first names on the teamsheet during his short time at the club after joining in March.
The Royals have made good decisions on the latter five if this report is on the money – because none of them really did enough to earn themselves fresh terms at the Select Car Leasing Stadium.
In fact, the man who could probably feel most aggrieved out of the quintet is Terell Thomas who didn’t put a foot wrong during his two games for the club but didn’t get enough time on the pitch to prove his worth.
Unfortunately, Halilovic wasn’t fit enough to earn fresh terms and like Thomas, Barker didn’t play enough either.
The less said about McNulty’s time in Berkshire the better – and all parties will be happy to move on including the player who never really had the chance to show his worth. In fairness though, he didn’t exactly do enough when he did play, so the Royals were perhaps justified in sending him elsewhere.
Nyland is perhaps a surprise departure though – because many people would see the Norwegian as a solid second-tier keeper despite his errors against Stoke City and Luton Town. However, he is certainly replaceable.
Thomas Tuchel offers injury latest ahead of Leicester clash
Thomas Tuchel provides brief on Mateo Kovacic, Kai Havertz, Timo Werner and Andreas Christensen along with Ben Chilwell return.
Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has offered an update on the state of his squad regarding injuries ahead of the visit of Leicester City to Stamford Bridge on Thursday night.
Both teams head into the tie with little to play for, with the Blues clinching Champions League football thanks to Newcastle’s win over Arsenal on Monday night, while Leicester’s ambitions are restricted to an eighth place finish.
Kai Havertz and Mateo Kovacic remain major doubts for the tie, Tuchel confirms. The former missed out on the FA Cup final due to a hamstring problem and Kovacic was substituted on the hour mark at Wembley after being rushed back with an ankle injury.
The German manager also provided the latest on Timo Werner who was unable to feature against Liverpool due to an ‘uncomfortable’ warm-up.
“Kai will try in training today,” stated Tuchel.
“He was in individual training yesterday rather than with the team so there’s still a big question mark over him for tomorrow.
“Timo is out with a hamstring problem. Kova had a big swollen ankle after the match and he did not train yesterday so it is unlikely he will be available tomorrow.”
Fans were also surprised to see defender Andreas Christensen’s omission from the squad for Sunday’s final.
His absence from even the substitute’s bench led onlookers to speculate if his heavily reported move away played a factor but Tuchel protested that was not the case:
“Andreas came [to me] on the morning of the cup final and told me he was not ready for the match. He had his reasons, they will stay private and confidential, but it was not the first time.
“It was very short notice before the cup final and even with other matches in the weeks before. He retains our support but it is probably unlikely [that he plays against Leicester]. But I have no prediction for tomorrow or the weekend.”
🗣 “Andreas [Christensen] came on the morning of the match to inform me he is not ready. He had his reasons, they stay private.”
Thomas Tuchel confirms that Andreas Christensen asked not to play for Chelsea in the FA Cup final but would not reveal why pic.twitter.com/0VAIJcVFdZ
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) May 18, 2022
Ben Chilwell return provides silver lining for Thomas Tuchel and Chelsea
Providing solace for the Chelsea faithful and himself alike, Tuchel delivered the news that full-back Ben Chilwell had returned to training.
Pictured on social media back with the squad, Chilwell hasn’t trained since suffering an Achilles injury in November last year against Juventus.
Chelsea’s fall away from the title race has been largely attributed to the absence of the 25-year-old, who provides balance to a system that is heavily reliant on having two marauding wing-backs.
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) May 17, 2022
Despite his reappearance on the training ground, a return to face former side Leicester is a stretch too far.
“Yesterday Ben Chilwell was back in team training which was very good news and a big uplift for everyone,” Tuchel added.
“It was very good news to see him back in training but of course he is out for the match. We are desperate to have Ben back next season because he’s one of our key players.
“At the same time we will be very patient with him because it’s a big injury and he’s been out for a long time. We are very excited and looking forward to having him back.”
In relation to their opponents, the Foxes could welcome the return of Nampalys Mendy, Ricardo Pereira and Youri Tielemans. Meanwhile, Hamza Choudhury, Wilfred Ndidi and Ryan Bertrand remain unavalaible.