Manchester United are considering a bid to sign Barcelona wing-back Dani Alves as a cheaper alternative to Everton's Seamus Coleman and Southampton's Nathaniel Clyne, reports the Daily Star.
The Brazilian star is out of contract in the summer and his agent confirmed that Barcelona are yet to offer him an extension. Alves is now free to negotiate a pre-contract with other clubs and a number of Premier League outfits are reported to be interested.
“We won’t wait for Barcelona," Dinorah Santana, Alves's agent, told Spanish radio station Cadena SER. "They have to take the plunge. Alves has spent seven years here and he has behaved like a professional at all times.
“Barcelona have not had a sporting director for a month and Alves is free to negotiate with any club. (Former director of football) Andoni Zubizarreta didn’t tell us anything.”
Louis van Gaal is believe to be one of several managers ready to offer him a lucrative deal to bring him to England has he searches for potential alternatives to his first choice targets.
Everton are likely to demand in excess of £25 million for Coleman while Southampton will want around £20 million for the ever-improving Clyne. Alves would demand a higher wage than either of them, but the lack of transfer fee makes any deal an attractive one for Manchester United.
Money, however, is not necessarily a concern for the Red Devils with Ed Woodward taking every chance to reiterate their ability to buy any player in the world. With Rafael seemingly out of favour, the arrival of Alves could come alongside one of either Clyne or Coleman.
Alves is widely regarded as one of the most effective attacking full-backs in world football and would suit Van Gaal's 3-5-2 formation well. At 31-years-old, he has the experience to mentor Clyne of Coleman to suit the position as well.
Van Gaal may have to do battle with Premier League rivals Arsenal and Chelsea if he wants to sign Alves, however. Both Arsene Wenger and Jose Mourinho have been accredited with an interest in the same report with Liverpool also mentioned.
Brendan Rodgers has been left dissatisfied with Glen Johnson, who himself is out of contract in the summer. The England international is expected to depart leaving Liverpool as possibly the most serious contenders for Alves' signature.