Barcelona defender Dani Alves is likely to leave the Catalan giants next summer.
Alves, whose contract runs till June, had been expecting to sign a contract extension due to Barcelona’s transfer ban that will prevent the club from signing players till 2016, but has yet to receive any formal offers from the club, as confirmed by his agent.
“They haven’t contacted us,” Dinorah Santana, Alves’ agent told the Spanish radio station Cadena SER, as quoted by The Guardian. “I interpret that silence to mean they don’t want Dani Alves, so we will begin searching for a new club.
“We won’t wait for Barcelona, they have to take the plunge. Alves has spent seven years here and he has behaved like a professional at all times.
“Barcelona have not had a sporting director for a month and Alves is free to negotiate with any club. [Former director of football] Andoni Zubizarreta didn’t tell us anything.”
Alves has been a reported target of Premier League giants Manchester United and the Red Devils will not regret about the transfer should they sign him next summer.
Right wing back is one of the areas where United would be looking to invest in the summer, with Everton’s Seamus Coleman being heavily linked with the club.
While Everton are expected to command a high transfer fee for Coleman; Alves on the other hand represents a bargain buy as he would arrive in the form of a free transfer.
Alves turns 32 next May, and while he is not the same player he was 6-8 years back, the Brazilian is still good enough to represent any top club in the world.
Should United manage to sign both him and Coleman, the club would get a fine blend of youth and experience in defence.
Speaking of experience, United defenders would benefit from having him in the dressing room. This is a player who has played over 550 club games and 79 international matches and has won trophies for both club and country.
He has won four league titles, two Champions League, three Copa del Rey during his time in Spain. He has been the mainstay in the Brazilian team since 2006 and has played an integral part in Brazil’s FIFA Confederation Cup triumphs in 2009 and 2013.
In his prime, Alves was one of the key players for Pep Guardiola and was crucial to Barcelona’s game plan. When Messi was playing at right wing, the Argentine would cut inside allowing Alves to burst down the wings and whips in crosses.
Also, when Messi became more central, he developed a good understanding with other wide players like Pedro Rodriguez, who knew when to break Alves free on the attack.
He offered pace and variety and made life of opposition wingers difficult to defend against him. His acceleration, relentless forward runs, and his intelligence made him probably the best full-back for many years till 2012.
What really irks now is that his form has dipped remarkably in recent years. With age, his pace and stamina has gone down and naturally his runs are less effective these days. His crosses have been way ward and there is a feeling that Alves might have lost bit of motivation as well.
He has contributed goals and assists on a regular basis for many years, yet he is much more than that. He brings lot more to the game. As he slowly approaches the apogee of his career, his form is bound to go downhill in few years’ time, but with him available on a free transfer that makes this as a gamble probably worth taking.