Juventus are favourites to sign FC Barcelona right back Dani Alves, but Manchester United and PSG have also joined the race, according to reports from the Spanish media.
Alves has had eight good seasons with Barcelona, winning six La Liga titles, four Copa Del Reys and three Champions League trophies. However, the Catalan club are now prepared to let the Brazilian go, as he has now reached the age of 33.
The former Sevilla right back’s contract with Barcelona lasts for another year, but there is a clause in it which allows Alves to take a transfer as a free agent this summer. According to a report in Spanish news outlet Cadena SER, Alves had already agreed to a three-year deal with Juventus last week. The report also said that a formal announcement of Alves’s move to Turin would be expected in the next few days.
However, Spanish newspaper Mundo Deportivo have reported on Thursday that Premier League and Ligue 1 giants, Manchester United and PSG respectively, are also interested in the 33-year-old, and want to hijack him from Juventus’s grasp. However, one problem that Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho faces is that Alves himself is not too keen on a move to England, according to the Mundo Deportivo report.
The Bianconeri have shown a clear cut interest in Alves, with their director Beppe Marotta saying, “I can confirm that the negotiations for Dani Alves are coming along well and we are very satisfied with them.”
Manchester United, PSG in dire need for a right back
While Juventus are favourites to sign Alves, they could actually do without a player like him. Bianconeri boss Max Allegri prefers to play three defenders at the back, which does not really leave much room for fullbacks. Right wingback Stephan Lichsteiner is often deployed on the right midfield, and he also doubles up as a right fullback, but that role can be fulfilled by traditional wingers like Kwadwo Asamoah, Roberto Pereyra, and Martin Caceres.
However, Manchester United have suffered in defence, having to play a wide range of players in the right back position. While Matteo Darmian has had his injury issues this season, Van Gaal has deployed a number of players on the right back position, with the likes of Antonio Valencia, Guillermo Varela and Timothy Fosu-Mensah all operating in those roles. The signing of Alves could bring some stability to the right back position. To add to that the 33-year-old Brazilian can also help the likes of Darmian and Fosu-Mensah with his vast experience.
Meanwhile, PSG are said to be looking for a new right fullback after Gregory van der Wiel’s contract with the club has come to an end. To add to that, Serge Aurier is also set to be sold off as the Ivorian is said to be unhappy at the French capital. This makes PSG and Manchester United’s need for a right back much greater than that of Juventus.