• Ex-Palermo president Maurizio Zamparini hailed Juventus star Paulo Dybala as "the new Lionel Messi"
  • Zamparini thinks Dybala should leave Juve for Real Madrid as early as January
  • The Old Lady confirmed that Dybala's contract extension is already in the works

Former Palermo F.C. owner Maurizio Zampini still believes Juventus star Paulo Dybala is the new Lionel Messi and should leave Italy for Barcelona or Real Madrid in January.

Dybala continues to be linked with a transfer move away from Allianz Stadium. Due to recurring injuries, the Argentine forward’s playing time has been limited and he hasn’t started in most games in recent times.

Nevertheless, Zamparini is still amazed by Dybala’s attributes. In a recent interview with Tuttosport, the 79-year-old insisted that the Argentine footballer is the successor of six-time Ballon d’Or winner Messi and will be able to reach the pinnacle of his career if he leaves the Serie A champions.

"I am still convinced that he is the new [Lionel] Messi,” he said of the 27-year-old forward. “Dybala, as well as a champion, is a very good guy. And I can't understand why many insiders tend to forget him.”

Zamparini is frustrated that Juve manager Andrea Pirlo has not made Dybala a regular starter for the club. The ex-Palermo director even recalled convincing the star forward to ditch Juventus for better exposure in Spanish top-flight clubs such as Barcelona and Real Madrid.

“Dybala is not a starter in Serie A is a blasphemy,” the Italian businessman said. “Paulo should have followed my advice three years ago, to move away from Turin. I told him clearly, 'Paulo, for your own sake, you must leave Juventus.’ His football is fantasy [and is best suited to] Spain, at either Barcelona or Real Madrid. But he has always told me he feels good at Juventus."

Lionel Messi almost scored a breathtaking goal but Barcelona were held to a frustrating draw by Slavia Prague
Lionel Messi AFP / LLUIS GENE

Dybala’s contract with Juventus is set to expire in 2022. However, big-name Premier League clubs such as Manchester United and Chelsea are already monitoring his situation.

For Zamparini, it would best for Dybala to explore his options “as early as” the next transfer window, highly suggesting Madrid as a primary option.

"The advice I give him today is the same, ‘'Paulo, leave Juventus and go to Real Madrid’,” he concluded. “Maybe as early as January. It would be a deal [that is good] for everyone.”

Despite Dybala being linked to a move away from Turin, Juventus chief football officer Fabio Paratici recently stated that the club is already working on a contract extension, with the player also keen to agree.

"We're in talks to extend Paulo Dybala's contract," Paratici told Sky Sports Italy. "He wants to stay and we want to keep him, he's part of our future. We'll continue the negotiations to find an agreement."

Juventus forward Paulo Dybala said he has tested positive for coronavirus but was 'perfectly fine'
Dybala has been at Juventus since the 2015-16 season. AFP / Isabella BONOTTO