Mikel Arteta keen on Paulo Dybala should Arsenal lose Martin Odegaard this summer

Arsenal transfer target Paulo Dybala looks on in Juventus training
Paulo Dybala has emerged as a possible target for Arsenal (Picture: Getty)

Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta is reportedly interested in signing Paulo Dybala should the club fail to agree a permanent deal for Martin Odegaard.

Odegaard completed a loan move from Real Madrid to the Emirates in January after struggling to nail down a starting spot under Zinedine Zidane and the 22-year-old attacking midfielder has quickly become a key player for the Gunners.

It’s understood Arteta has told Arsenal’s board to do everything in their power to extend Odegaard’s stay but the north London outfit have been forced to assess other potential options, with the Norwegian admitting this week that a return to the Bernabeu remains a ‘big dream’.

According to Spanish publication Sport, the Gunners have identified Juventus star Dybala, 27, as a target and ‘are on the prowl’ for the Argentina international ahead of the summer transfer window.

West Ham United v Arsenal - Premier League
Arsenal have been forced to scour the market for alternatives to Odegaard (Picture: Getty)

The report claims Arteta would be ‘delighted’ to land Dybala as a plan B if Odegaard heads back to Madrid.

However, the Gunners are likely to face stiff competition for Dybala’s signature with bitter rivals Chelsea and Tottenham heavily linked in recent weeks.

It’s also unclear whether the ex-Palermo star would have any desire to join Arsenal, a team languishing down in ninth place in the Premier League and unable to offer Champions League football.

Dybala, who is tied into a deal in Turin until 2022, has been sidelined since the start of January with a low-grade lesion of the medial collateral ligament of the left knee.

The Argentinian has endured the most frustrating season of his career as a result, managing just three goals in 16 appearances for the Serie A champions in all competitions.

Speaking to DAZN earlier this week, Juve vice-president Pavel Nedved played down rumours Andrea Pirlo and Cristiano Ronaldo could leave but threw Dybala’s future into doubt.

‘We missed Dybala. I think he hasn’t played more than 800 minutes with us this season,’ Nedved said.

‘His presence would give us more options upfront. He has one year left in his contract and I have nothing to add to what [Fabio] Paratici and [Andrea] Agnelli already said.

‘Juventus will evaluate every opportunity in the market.’

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