Manchester United and Liverpool have been joined in the race to sign Barcelona right-back Dani Alves by Manchester City and Juventus, but any of the interested clubs will need to pay the Brazil star around £5 million-a-year - approximately £96,000-a-week - to secure his signature.
This is according to talkSPORT, who claim that Alves’s wage demands could deter the aforementioned clubs from making a formal contract offer next summer.
Host of top clubs interested
The 31-year-old will leave Barcelona at the end of the season, when his contract expires, and the opportunity to sign one of the best right-backs of the current generation on a free transfer is proving tempting for a host of Europe’s top clubs.
But whether they are prepared to offer him close to £100,000-a-week is another matter. It’s also believed that Alves would want at least a two-year deal from his next employers, even though most top clubs today tend to only offer players over the age of 30 one-year deals.
Alves, however, is still regarded as one of the world’s best right-sided full-backs, despite his advancing years.
The Brazilian has won every major honour with Barcelona since joining the Catalan giants from Sevilla for around £30 million six years ago, and neither his athleticism nor his stamina have deserted him yet.
Barcelona want Alves gone next summer
Nevertheless, Barcelona were keen to replace Alves this summer and worked hard to sign Fiorentina’s Juan Cuadrado, who Luis Enrique wanted to become the new right wing-back at the Camp Nou.
Manchester United wanted Colombia international Cuadrado for the same reasons, with Louis van Gaal having implemented a 3-4-1-2 formation at Old Trafford at the start of this season.
United failed to snap up a new right wing-back before the transfer window closed last Monday, despite signing three players capable of playing at left wing-back in the form of Luke Shaw, Marcos Rojo and Daley Blind.
Where will Alves end up?
It seems Van Gaal is content to use Rafael or Antonio Valencia in the right wing-back position for the time being, but a move for Alves - regardless of his wage demands - will look appealing if neither player convinces in that position over the course of the next eight months.
A move to United’s local rivals, Man City, may appeal to Alves with former Barcelona chiefs Ferran Soriano and Txiki Begiristain currently at the Etihad Stadium - although the reigning Premier League champions already have Pablo Zabaleta and Bacary Sagna in their ranks.
Liverpool will also look like an attractive option, particularly if former Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes signs for the Anfield club in the next few weeks.
But, ultimately, Alves is after one last big pay day - and the club that offers him the most money is likely to secure his signature.