Manchester United are ready to push hard to sign Barcelona star Dani Alves as part of a big spending spree in the January transfer window, reports The Express.
Alves has been a key player under manager Luis Enrique this season but has yet to agree an extension on his contract. With that deal set to expire in the summer, Manchester United are hopeful of tempting Barcelona into a sale.
Barcelona already have a replacement earmarked in the form of Douglas but a terrible performance against Huesca strengthened the view that the 24-year-old is not to the required standard.
However, Louis van Gaal is determined to land the older of Barcelona's Brazilian full-backs as he continues to pursue a 3-5-2 formation at Old Trafford. Alves is widely regarded as one of the most attacking wing-backs in world football and is still impressing at the highest level despite his age (31).
That makes him the perfect signing for Van Gaal, who has seen Rafael struggle to adapt his game to a more advanced position thus far. Alves could not only add quality to the Red Devils but be an excellent tutor to his compatriot.
This report comes as a result of news that Manchester United officials have pledged another £150 million in transfer fees to force through a revival under Van Gaal. A lack of investment was cited as a possible reason for the disastrous season under David Moyes, which saw the Red Devils drop out of the top four for the first time in Premier League history.
Although Manchester United have enjoyed a four-match winning streak, the 13-time Premier League champions have fallen of title pace considerably. They are not expected to challenge for the title, but top four, and therefore Champions League qualification, is a must if they are to keep their key players happy.
Alves is unlikely to agree to a move to Old Trafford unless Champions League football looks set to return to Old Trafford after a one season absence. There is also the problem of Barcelona's transfer ban.
Enrique won't be able to register new players until summer 2016, meaning the loss of Alves would have a significant impact on the squad. However, the proposition of losing him for free in the summer is an unappealing one in the era of financial fair play.