Dani Alves is hoping to use interest from Manchester United to convince Barcelona to offer him a better deal, a report in Goal has claimed.
The Brazilian right-back is out of contract in the summer and a number of sources have claimed a move to Old Trafford is possible. Alves is free to discuss terms with Manchester United officials but is still holding out hope that Barcelona will offer him the right deal.
In fact, the 31-year-old is trying to use interest from the Red Devils as leverage in his negotiations with Barcelona. He wants a deal that will keep him at the Nou Camp until his 35th birthday but, as of yet, manager Luis Enrique is refusing to play ball.
Article continues below
What this means is, at the moment, Alves has little intention of signing for Manchester United, but will instead tempt Louis van Gaal into negotiations to try and scare Barcelona into an improved offer.
Manchester United seem to be growing wise to the situation. They have stepped up their interest in Southampton right-back Nathaniel Clyne with one journalist claiming a deal is as good as done.
Article continues below
Clyne is younger, experienced in the Premier League and would fill a much-needed space as a homegrown star in the Manchester United squad. Any deal is likely to cost them upwards of £20million.
Alves, 31, is still considered one of the best attacking wing-backs in world football and would be a bargain if signed on a free contract. However, he would likely demand a rise on his £120,000-a-week contract to make the move to Old Trafford; significantly higher than anything they would pay Clyne.
While there is little doubt he would be a good signing for Manchester United, there are always risks associated with signing a player with no experience in the Premier League. Alves has spent his entire career with time on the ball and may be too set in his ways to adapt his game to the fast pace of English football.
But it appears Alves is still expecting to be at Barcelona next season. Their transfer ban means they would not be able to replace him until January 2016 and, as a result, he believes he holds the upper-hand in negotiations.
Manchester United are just a pawn in this game of chess and the quicker they rule themselves out, the better.
Should Manchester United give up on Dani Alves or would fans still like to see Louis van Gaal chase this ambitious deal? Give us your thoughts in the comment box below!