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Arsenal and Chelsea dealt transfer blow as Serie A giants close in on striker

Arsenal and Chelsea have reportedly fallen behind Juventus in the race to snap up highly-rated Palermo hitman Paulo Dybala.

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Respected Italian journalist Gianluca Di Marzio reports on his website that the Serie A leaders are in pole position to secure the Argentine’s services when the summer transfer window opens, despite further interest from the likes of Roma, Inter Milan and Atletico Madrid.

It comes as a blow to the two London rivals. La Gazzetta dello Sport claims the 21-year-old is a key target for Chelsea, while The Independent believes the Gunners still remain equally keen.

Jose Mourinho is likely to add firepower to his Stamford Bridge set-up during the coming months, with veteran Didier Drogba coming to the end of his contract at the age of 37, and first-choice striker Diego Costa suffering several muscle injuries this term.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger could look to bring extra competition for places in the final third of the pitch, with Theo Walcott yet to pen a contract extension and Danny Welbeck struggling to displace the rejuvenated Olivier Giroud.

Dybala has only one year remaining on his contract with Palermo, and will therefore almost certainly be sold for a relatively modest price.

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