27 Feb 2015

Mega-Deal? Boss drops massive hint that Liverpool could sign €42m 'jewel'. Confirms 'contact' with 'clubs in England'

Last month, Italian newspaper Tutto Sport claimed that Liverpool are favourites to sign Palermo star Paulo Dybala, and the Serie A club's President has now confirmed that he's willing to sell the striker.

When asked this week about Dybala's future, Mauricio Zamperini told reporters:

“Dybala? Major European clubs have been in contact with me. I’ve spoken with interested clubs in England and France.

“We’ll try to find an agreement with the agent to make sure we do what is best.”

Liverpool are one of the club 'in England' that is heavily linked with Dybala, so it's reasonable to assume that Zamperini is referencing the Reds here (plus Arsenal).

The story so far:

* Nov 2014: reports in Italy claimed that Rodgers had 'singled out' 21-year-old Dybala as the man to resurrect Liverpool's failing front-line.

* Dec 2014: Tutto Mercato claimed that Liverpool are actively pursuing Dybala, and are current favourites to sign him.

* Dec 2014: In response to transfer speculation, Palermo President Mauro Zamperini placed a ridiculous price tag on Dybala's head. He told reporters: "He [Dybala] is our jewel. If you want him, it'll take $50 million (€42 million) to get him"

* Dec 2014. In a separate interview, Zamperini made the following exaggerated claim: “He [Dybala] is the best striker in Serie A. Within two years, he's going to be better than Cristiano Ronaldo, [Lionel] Messi and [Zlatan] Ibrahimovic"

In January, Zamperini continued his eulogy by claiming that Dybala is 'one of the best talents in the world', and insisted that he is 'destined to go to a great club'. He further added:

“If he [Dybala] continues to play well...then a big club from abroad will sign him. Where will he go? England, France, German, or Spain".

So, is Dybala worth €42m? A striker's primary role is to score and create goals, so let's take a look at his stats this season:

* 12 goals/8 assists in 24 apps.
* Goal every 161 mins (1 every 1.7 games)
* Goal/assist every 102 mins (1 every 1.1 games)
* Passing accuracy: 81%
* Key passes: 1.4 per game.

Stats: OPTA

With 20 goals/assists in 24 games, Dybala is clearly doing the business for Palermo, but Zamperini is deluded if he thinks he'll get €42m for him.

For strikers, consistency is the key, and although Dybala is doing well now, it'd be madness to splurge such a huge transfer fee on a player with such limited top-flight experience.

Dybala is going through a purple-patch at the moment, but football is littered with players who had one great spell/season, and then fell by the wayside.

If Dybala is worth €42m (in the bizarro-world of football), then Raheem Sterling must be worth a similar amount, or more? Whatever the reality, in my view, neither player is worthy of such a ridiculous fee.

Arsenal reportedly pulled out of the race to sign Dybala after refusing to meet Zamperini's ludicrous valuation. That makes sense, though, as Arsene Wenger is no mug when it comes to expensive transfers.

As is always the case, a player like Dybala is an enticing option, but only for the right price.



  1. I think he'll go the way of Pastore and join PSG. I think they're the only club that would be willing to offer the kind of money Zamparini wants.

  2. Wenger is no mug when it comes to expensive transfers - just ask Ozil ;-)

  3. Don't think he'd succeed in England from what I've seen, hope we dodge this one.

  4. Lacazette--21 goals--nearest competitor--14. He could be our Suarez. Bet we could get him for less than 42M

  5. Nobody will pay what he's asking. He'll either have to get real in his valuation or the player will just run his contract down and leave for nothing

  6. Zamparini doesn't live in the same world as you and me, Jock. He's not troubled by our wretched reason. He creates his own world around him; moment to moment, manager to manager.

    He managed to get 42 million Euros out of PSG for Pastore too, so he has form.

  7. I agree with everyone that this should be a no go... though I'm wondering what the change has been since the last time JK reported this...

  8. The change is that Zamperini has confirmed that he's in contact with English clubs, and that he's willing to sell.

  9. Fair one. You'd think they'd have learned their lesson tho

  10. They'd be stupid to sell him. Objectively he's a better player than Sterling.

    Will he settle into English football quickly? Who knows? Is he a gobsmackingly talented player with a seemingly high ceiling who is currently more than comfortable in Serie A? Yes.

    Worth a punt? Depends on who else is available for similar money, but he's better than Icardi, for sure.

  11. You are mentioning competitions which are based in a strong economy and are basically the only real recognized professional competitions worldwide in their respective sports.
    What you pay is only based on what you earn and these sports dont have massive transfer fees either.

  12. The only sport that rivals soccer is basketball. Transfer Schmandsfer. A 7year 210 million dollar contract beats every soccer contract in existence and there are about 10 of those in MAN alongside. Pool makes more OFF shirts than anything. GAG can afford more than you think.

  13. Nah, he's nowhere near as good as Sterling at the things Sterling is good at -- objectively, because these are things that can be measured. Like pace, successful attempts to beat a defender up close, that kind of thing. And Sterling is, from what I've seen, pretty much as good at the things Dybala is good at as Dybala. Overall Sterling is on another level completely: *real* pace, *real* skills, *real* matchplay. Sterling is also incredibly consistent within and between games; he's strong and fit; he can play and has played in positions from full-back to centre-forward, both wings, number 10. Dyabla has very few of these attributes, he's a relatively one-dimensional player, very weak physically, still with inconsistency and naivety in his game. Let's not go underestimating Sterling because of a couple of indifferent games; try and see him as the opposition see him.