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Chelsea transfer news: Blues ‘vigilant’ on Lionel Messi clone as injury blow forces change of plan

Robin Bairner
Lionel Messi, Chelsea
© ProShots

Chelsea are set for a January transfer rethink after Paulo Dybala picked up an injury for Roma in their Coppa Italia encounter against Lazio on Wednesday.

According to reports in the Italian media, Chelsea were one of the clubs seriously considering profiting from Dybala’s release clause with the Serie A outfit.

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The Argentina international star, who was a member of the squad that won the World Cup little over 12 months ago in Qatar, has a stipulation in his Roma contract that allows him to leave for just €12 million to any foreign club. It is only active, however, until 15 January before becoming dormant until a period early in the summer transfer window.

Any plans that Chelsea had of activating that deal appear to have been scuppered by Dybala picking up a thigh injury against Lazio as Jose Mourinho’s side lost 1-0 in a quarter-final against their rivals in a fixture that saw three players sent off in an ugly end to the match.

Attacker Dybala had already retired to the locker room at that point, having been replaced by Lorenzo Pellegrini at half-time.

It is unclear how long he will be absent from the pitch, but Tuttomercatoweb is certain that his injury will prevent any deal being struck late in his own personal transfer window.

“Contact between the Premier League club and the intermediaries in the negotiations were constant and probably without the injury the parties would have continues to speak,” the Italian source states.

“In the meantime, the renewal of his contract with an adjustment to his salary is still in question, a situation that we will talk about again.

“But Chelsea remain vigilant with their interest in Dybala.”

Paulo Dybala, Roma
© ProShots – Paulo Dybala, Roma

Dybala and Messi comparisons

Dybala is considered very similar in style to eight-time Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi, according to data analytics experts SciSports, making him an attractive catch for top clubs.

He has been overshadowed, though, by his countryman, with Messi previously admitting that they are too similar to play together easily in the same team.

Dybala has been posting impressive numbers this season, with five goals and six assists in 13 Serie A matches.

Decisive in front of goal on average once every 90 minutes, he provides the type of offensive production Chelsea are craving.

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