EXCLUSIVE | By Arsenal correspondent Tony Hughes
Arsenal will hold a new round of talks with Palermo in a bid to trump Juventus and Chelsea to the signing of Paulo Dybala.
Football Insider sources have learned that a Gunners delegation will meet with the Serie A club for a second time to discuss a deal for the Argentinian forward.
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”.
As reported by Football Insider, Arsenal told Palermo in initial discussions they rate Dybala at just below the £20m mark and are unwilling to pay more for the player.
However, the Gunners are prepared to offer a higher initial transfer instalment in a fresh bid to capture the 21-year-old, who is valued by Zamparini at €40m (£28.5m).
Juventus have offered around £18m for Dybala and are believed to the favourites to sign him as he is keen to remain in Serie A.
Football Insider reported last month that Arsenal and Chelsea had expressed an interest in the forward as they rival Juventus in the race to sign him this summer. Both clubs have been scouting Dybala and have been impressed by his ability to play anywhere across the forward line.
Dybala’s agent Pierpaolo Triulzi has been mandated by Palermo to broker the sale of Dybala, who is out of contract in the summer of 2016 and will be sold rather than leave for nothing next year. Dybala’s representatives have told the Serie A club he will not sign a contract extension.
Talking to Italian station Radio Marte on Wednesday, Zamparini said: “Juventus and Arsenal have already made the offerings, Pierpaolo Triulzi, the boy’s agent, will be in Italy on Friday.
“My request is more than 40 million euros. Dybala would prefer to stay in Italy, but among the English clubs Arsenal is the first choice of the boy for the way he plays the team coached by (Arsene) Wenger.”
Dybala has shot to prominence with his displays for 11th-placed Palermo this season, scoring 12 Serie A goals as well as providing seven assists in the competition.
Chelsea are in the market for a mobile young forward who can take some off the goalscoring burden off the shoulders of first-choice front man Diego Costa.
Arsenal will listen to offers for Lukas Podolski and Joel Campbell, on loan at Inter Milan and Villarreal respectively, in the summer and are looking at adding a mobile front man to complement their forward line.