Arsenal

Paulo Dybala can complete his seven-year Mesut Ozil mission if he seals free Arsenal transfer

Arsenal have been linked with a move for Juventus star Paulo Dybala as Mikel Arteta looks to bolster his striking options when the summer transfer window opens

Paulo Dybala to Arsenal transfer rumours have resurfaced over the past few days as the club’s search for a new striker continues ahead of the summer window.

Back in March, it was reported by Italian news outlet Tuttomercatoweb that the north London outfit had opened talks with the Argentina international’s representatives with the view to bringing him to the Emirates Stadium on a free transfer after his contract with Juventus expires in June.

And recently, Football Italia have claimed that Dybala’s agent, Jorge Antun, is currently in London to discuss a potential move with interested Premier League clubs, including Arsenal. This development comes amid talk of Inter Milan leading the race to sign the 28-year-old.

It remains to be seen if the Gunners can lure Dybala to England, but they stand to save millions of pounds by pursuing the Juventus star as unlike Gabriel Jesus and Tammy Abraham, he wouldn’t command a transfer fee due to his contract situation with the Serie A giants.

If Dybala was to join the club this summer, naturally supporters will be looking forward to seeing the forward holding up the Arsenal shirt at his unveiling and a certain image taken in May 2015 – uploaded to Twitter by @afcstuff – may provide a clue as to what number he would opt for on the back.

As seen below, Dybala was pictured at home holding a ‘Mesut Ozil 11 shirt’ from the 2014/15 season. Seven years on he can repeat this image – albeit with his own name on the back – as the aforementioned shirt number is expected to be vacant for any new Arsenal signing this summer.

Whilst Lucas Torreira hasn’t actually been part of Arteta’s plans over the past two seasons, he has been allocated the number 11 shirt on the club’s official website. So should the midfielder leave for good – amid the likelihood of a permanent move to Fiorentina – his squad number at the Emirates will be up for grabs.

So if Dybala’s plan seven years ago was to emulate Ozil by wearing number 11 for Arsenal, he can complete that mission this summer. Although for that to happen he would have to join the club and then wait for news of Torreira’s permanent exit.

With that said, one year prior the Argentine – whilst at Palermo – opened up on the possibility of playing for the Gunners at some point in the future after being praised by former manager Arsene Wenger: “To know that someone like that (Wenger) thinks highly of me fills me with pride,” he admitted. “I can’t deny that going to Arsenal and playing in the Premier League would be great, but at the moment I’m a Palermo player.”