Paulo Dybala breaks English hearts with Barcelona pledge
Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United have all been courting Dybala, but the Palermo striker is making eyes across the Med
Today's Transfer Talk features a bullish claim by Palermo hotshot Paulo Dybala concerning Barcelona and some interesting news from Chelsea concerning a couple of their ageing greats.
• A trio of Premier League clubs have been dealt a blow in their pursuit of Palermo hotshot Paulo Dybala. Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United have all been tracking the Argentine ace, who has scored 12 goals in 24 games in Serie A this season, but the Daily Star reports that in an interview with Radio Belgrano he made clear his dream. "Would I be open to a move to Barcelona? I would swim to Barcelona if they came knocking," declared Dybala. "I wouldn't even have to change into my swimming gear." Adding that he would "only have to cross the Mediterranean Sea" to reach Barcelona from Sicily, Dybala has been advised by the Star that the swim is 1200km but "would be interrupted by the Mediterranean island of Sardinia" which is about half-way from Palermo to Barcelona.
• The future of Fiorentina goalkeeper Norberto Neto remains up in the air with the Daily Express claiming that the 25-year-old "has had plenty of offers" from English clubs. Liverpool and Arsenal are among those said to be interested in the Brazilian gloveman, but so are Italian outfit Juventus, alerted by the fact he's kept nine clean sheets in 18 games for Fiorentina this season. Asked by Sky Sport Italia about Neto's future, his agent Stefano Castagna admitted: "There are several teams interested in him but I don't like to name names." Pressed on when a decision might be taken about a move to England, Castagna added "the end of the season", fuelling speculation he could be headed to the Premier League in the summer
• A new contract will be offered to Chelsea captain John Terry when his contract deal expires at the end of this season. The BBC reports that the 34-year-old Terry, who has made more than 550 appearances for the club since signing professional terms in 1998, will be back at the Bridge in August. "I can guarantee he will be a Chelsea player next season," said Blues boss Jose Mourinho. "I know what my board tells me – no doubts he's going to get his contract." The BBC says that Terry will probably be offered a one-year deal in line with Chelsea's policy not offer players over the age of 30 anything longer than a 12 month deal.
•Talking of Chelsea veterans, Metro reports that Jose Mourinho has issued a warning to any club harbouring thoughts of luring veteran gloveman Petr Cech from the club. The 32-year-old has been linked with a move to Arsenal in recent weeks, ever since losing his place as Chelsea's regular keeper to Belgian Thibaut Courtois, but Mourinho had this to say when asked if he would try to persuade Cech to stay at the Bridge. "I don't think Petr is a guy to be persuaded. I don't waste my time trying to persuade him because it's just his decision. If he tells me he wants to leave I will tell him my opinion." And as for how much it might take to prise Cech from Chelsea, Mourinho replied: "Huge money."