By Chelsea correspondent Tony Hughes
Chelsea are prepared to blow their rivals, including Arsenal, out of the water to land Argentine sensation Paulo Dybala.
Football Insider understands that the London club will table a major offer for the striker, who is valued at €40million (£28.5m) by his club Palermo.
Agent Gustavo Mascardi claimed on Monday that Chelsea have already bid £28.8m for Dybala but sources close to the club have denied the figure is that high.
Nevertheless, Football Insider has learned that the Premier League leaders will attempt to trump the 21-year-old’s many suitors in a bid to sign him this summer after being convinced of his ability by frequent scouting missions.
Juventus have been the long-standing favourites to sign Dybala but face increasingly strong competition from richer clubs like Chelsea, Arsenal and Paris Saint-Germain, while Roma and Atletico Madrid are also closely monitoring the player.
Palermo president Maurizio Zamparini has claimed that Arsenal and Juventus have made offers for Dybala and that the Londoners are the player’s Premier League “first choice”. Zamparini values the team’s in-form spearhead at £28.5m and has admitted that he will be sold this summer.
According to Gustavo Mascardi, an agent who is acting as intermediary in the deal, Juve have bid £23m but that is trumped by fresh offers from Chelsea and PSG.
“Paris St Germain have already come forward with an offer of about £32.4m and Chelsea had already reached £28.8m,” Mascardi told Gazzetta dello Sport. “”We’re now at the stage where the price cannot be lower than £36m. Paulo is in no hurry and will take his decision calmly.”
Football Insider understands that Arsenal retain an interest in Dybala and have held several rounds of talks with Palermo and the player’s representatives. Arsene Wenger is in the market for a ‘special’ forward who can play anywhere across the front line and in the No10 role behind the spearhead.
Dybala has shot to prominence with his displays for 11th-placed Palermo this season, scoring 13 Serie A goals in 31 matches as well as providing 10 assists in the competition.