Premier League duo Manchester United and Chelsea have seemingly been dealt a sizeable blow in the race to sign Dani Alves, with reports claiming that a little-known clause in the marauding full-back's contract could see him tied to his current club until 2016.
30-year-old Alves has been with Catalan giants Barcelona since joining from La Liga rivals Sevilla during the summer of 2008 and has since gone on to establish himself as one of the world's top defenders at the Camp Nou.
In 2011, Alves agreed to extend his contract with Barca in a deal that appeared set to run until 2015.
With that deal just two years from expiring, speculation would appear to be mounting concerning the Brazil international, with French newspaper Le 10 Sport and Catalan daily Sport claiming that a host of clubs - including the likes of United and Chelsea as well as top-flight rivals Manchester City and wealthy Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain are interested in his signature.
However, those clubs could well be dissuaded from pursuing any potential deal for Alves, with Sport claiming that the player's previous renewal included a clause that means Barcelona have the option to extend it by a further year.
Alves has made 10 appearances for Gerardo Martino's side so far this season, with Barcelona currently topping the table after amassing 34 points from their opening 12 fixtures.