Juventus quash 'fantasy' talk of Salah-Dybala swap deal

Juventus have sought to distance themselves from rumours regarding a potential swap deal involving Paulo Dybala and Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah, with sporting director Fabio Paratici describing such talk as “fantasy”.

It had been suggested, as transfer speculation resurfaces on the back of the January window, that those in Turin are eager to put another marquee deal in place this summer.

Having landed Cristiano Ronaldo from Real Madrid in 2018, the sights of the Serie A champions are said to have turned towards another global superstar currently on the books at Anfield.

In an effort to sweeten any deal, reports claimed that Argentina international Dybala could be used as a makeweight in efforts to bring a former Fiorentina and Roma star back to Italy.

Paratici has, however, quashed the gossip by telling Radio Rai: “Right now it’s just fantasy, we are still in February and we don’t know what will happen in June.”

He added on Juve’s business, with a deal already in place to take Aaron Ramsey as a free agent: “I believe we’ve already signed a big player and it’s Ramsey who has 350 appearances with Arsenal. He is already a big signing for us.”

While playing down the talk of an imminent deal involving Dybala, questions have been asked of the South American’s future over recent weeks.

Paratici is hoping to bring the speculation to a close, with there no desire on Juve’s part to allow a player yet to reach his peak to slip through their net.

Cristiano Ronaldo, Paulo Dybala, Juventus

He added: “He is 25, he is a player of Juventus and he has already proven a lot. I am sure he will become a legend and a leader of Juve, he has the technical skills to do it.”

For now, Dybala remains an important part of the Bianconeri’s plans as they chase down more major honours at home and abroad.

An unbeaten record in Serie A has them 13 points clear at the summit, while the first leg of a Champions League last-16 clash with Atletico Madrid is set to be taken in on Wednesday.

European glory has become a top priority for a club that has gone 23 years without conquering the continent, especially now that they have proven winner Cristiano Ronaldo on their books.

“The Champions League is one of our targets, a motivation to improve and do well,” said Paratici.

“We need many things in order to win it, including a bit of luck.

“[Massimiliano] Allegri? He is perfect for our project. I am sure his future doesn’t depend on the Champions League and that he will remain with us for a long time. We are always looking for new motivations, we want to improve the team every year."