The 31-year-old is out of contract next summer and recently told reporters that he would be playing his football in England next season. This was followed up by reports claiming the Brazil international had performed a U-turn and would be extending his contract with the Catalan giants, who are banned from buying any new players until January 2016.
Gallardo: Alves will join Man United
However, Gallardo - who, it must be noted, doesn’t have the best track record when it comes to predicting future transfers - insists that Alves will join the Red Devils in time for the start of the 2015-16 campaign.
"The player will leave Barcelona next season,” Gallardo revealed on Spanish television show Neox, according to the Express. “He has signed a preliminary agreement with Manchester United."
Chelsea and Liverpool set for disappointment
Alves, who has won every major trophy since joining Barcelona from Sevilla in 2008, has also been strongly linked with moves to Chelsea and Liverpool over the past few weeks. But if Gallardo’s information is accurate, then United’s Premier League rivals are set to be left disappointed.
Whether Manchester United require an ageing full-back is debatable. The Red Devils already have one Brazilian right-back in their ranks - Rafael, who is seven years younger than his compatriot and a firm favourite at Old Trafford.
Rafael didn’t enjoy his best season last term under the management of David Moyes, and while there have been a few hiccups this season - including his dismal display in the 5-3 defeat against Leicester City - overall he’s impressed.
Alves and agent unhappy with Barcelona
Alves and his agent, Dinorah Santana, are unhappy that Barcelona have not approached them with a new contract offer and admitted earlier this week that they will consider their options together over the next few months.
"If the club [Barcelona] wanted to renew Alves they would have done it already. I would not do things they way they have,” Santana commented.”We will leave the suitors until December or January... then we'll decide who to marry."
Alves to earn £96,000-a-week?
It was reported last month that Manchester United would need to pay Alves a £5 million-a-year (£96,000-a-week) salary to bring him to Old Trafford. The South American, despite his advancing years, remains an excellent full-back - but because of the physical demands of the position he plays in, the Red Devils will do well to get anything more than three years out of him.
Once again, though, it should be noted that Gallardo is the person providing this information - so we wouldn’t recommend any Manchester United fan to hold their breath just yet.