Barcelona’s Dani Alves is now set to leave the Catalans after agreeing a deal with Manchester United. The Daily Express reports that the defender whose contract expires by July next year might be moving to the Old Trafford outfit for free.
Alves moved from Sevilla in 2008 and has since established himself has a mainstay in Barcelona’s defence. He is famed for his ability to maintain a balance between his attacking tendencies, and his conventional defensive duties. In order to beat back advances from other potential suitors like Chelsea and Liverpool, it was reported that Louis van Gaal decided to get the business done and dusted early enough.
Although the defender could bring in a desirable level of experience to the Red Devil’s Defence, it is also important to note that a pre- contract agreement does not confirm that Alves would make the switch especially as his agent has stated that the 31-year-old is having a swell time at Barca. However, a long line of players have been linked to the Old Trafford outfit and as such, it is difficult to pinpoint the ones that would eventually be nailed.
Another possibility is the fact that Alves’s ex-wife who is also his agent could be using the hype about Manchester United’s poise to match the £5.5m/annual wage deal, to force the Catalan giants into offering her client a bigger deal when the talks for a contract extension heats up. It remains to be seen if Barcelona actually rates his services that high as to offer a juicer contract than the player actually gets, but after winning 2 Champions League medal with the club coupled with the fact that he could be available for next to nothing, his agent believes that her client could command as much of a wage structure as he deems fit from other interested clubs.
Currently, the Old Trafford outfit has only Rafael in the right-back position but could also deploy Antonio Valencia in the event that the Brazilian is unavoidably absent. Louis van Gaal also has plans for Fiorentina winger Juan Cuadrado and Everton’s Seamus Coleman both of whom could bring serious competition to Rafael on the right. The implication is that the club might not be in dire need of a high salaried right back especially as Alves is already 31-years. It will be noted that since the Dutch manager took over the reins at the Old Trafford outfit, he has avoided opportunities to sign players above the 26-year mark, however good they may be, and with the exception of Radamel Falcao who is currently on loan, the club’s other summer arrivals are relatively young.
This fact could make the manager opt for either of Coleman or Cuadrado because any of them will be around for a much longer period than the Catalan defender will and if the goal of his manager is to use the rumoured interest from Manchester United has a leverage at Barca, then it’s about to pay off as Barcelona’s sporting director has stated that a contract extension is in the pipelines.