The 23-year old has emerged as a target for the Italian Serie A outfit who have reportedly made three unsuccessful offers for his services.
Russell does not come out of contract until next summer but the Arabs are willing to sell him at the end of the current campaign if they get the right price.
However, Tannadice boss Jackie McNamara is remaining positive about keeping the former Scotland U21 international.
"There will be speculation about Johnny because he's a good player. Ideally, he'll sign a new contract here," he said.
"But we'll need to speak to his representatives."