Atletico Madrid are said to be hoping to strike a deal with Juventus that would see loanee Alvaro Morata remain in Turin, while Paulo Dybala makes the switch to the Spanish capital in his place.
Morata has played regularly under Andrea Pirlo this season, often partnering Cristiano Ronaldo up front. The Spain international has scored 18 goals in all competitions since the start of the campaign and it’s understood Juve would like to keep him around. However, they’re unlikely to exercise their £39m option to buy due to financial difficulties amid the coronavirus pandemic.
In the knowledge that Juve are interested in the striker, reports suggest the La Liga outfit would be keen to swap the 28-year-old for Dybala, who will enter the final year of his contract next season.
But is it a deal that would make sense for both parties? Well, we’ve compared the duo in order to establish whether this trade would represent good business for all involved…
The fact that Dybala’s Juventus contract is approaching its end would significantly impact what the Serie A champions can demand for the Argentine in the transfer market. Injuries have been a major problem for him this season and his fitness record would be of concern to anybody considering investing in the 27-year-old, but could also mean he it available at a cut price, and therefore worth the risk.
He was reportedly close to joining Tottenham Hotspur in the summer of 2019, so it’s long been known that Juventus would consider selling the former Palermo star.
Morata’s contract with Atletico runs until 2023 and therefore they will feel they’re negotiating from a stronger position. However, the fact he’s been sent out on loan indicates they don’t see him as indispensable.
You could argue Dybala is the more naturally gifted of the pair and therefore has the higher ceiling. However, what is potential if not fulfilled? The medial collateral ligament injury he suffered earlier this season has denied him plenty of minutes, but even when fit he’s been in and out of the side – making it difficult to gauge his actual level at present.
Morata has represented some of Europe’s biggest clubs, including Real Madrid and Chelsea. Wherever he’s been the 28-year-old has scored goals, but there’s no getting away from the fact he can be extremely frustrating.
When you take into account his record this might seem harsh, but he should score so many more. With Morata, it feels like he is already performing at his maximum, but with Dybala there could still be more to come.
Simeone clearly sees Dybala as somebody who can add further quality to his squad, hence why he is reportedly pursuing the aforementioned swap deal. His view on Morata is equally as clear given the decision was taken to send him out on loan rather than keep him at Wanda Metropolitano.
Andrea Pirlo doesn’t appear to have found a way of including Dybala regularly, which suggests he doesn’t rate him as highly as some of his other options. By the same token, he appears to be extremely fond of Morata who has appeared frequently throughout the campaign.
Taking into account all of the above, this proposed deal would make perfect sense for all of those involved at face value. Although the pair are very different in terms of their profiles as forwards, the fact that they are both attackers will mean neither squad faces being unbalanced as a result of a swap.
A move for Dybala away from Turin feels inevitable given his contract situation, and perhaps it is best for him as he seeks to revitalise his career before it is too late. A big sticking point could be his injury woes, but that is also a factor that may drive down his value and therefore make him worth a punt for a side needing a creative spark.
You could also argue – given he was not part of Simeone’s plans this season – the same can be said for Morata, who has evidently found a home in northern Italy in two successful spells with the Old Lady.
However, with Pirlo facing the axe at Juventus in the event they fail to qualify for next season’s Champions League, things could change significantly – potentially scuppering a deal.