Manchester United believe they are in pole position to sign Barcelona full-back Dani Alves this summer when his contract expires, according to The Guardian.
The paper makes the claim that Louis van Gaal has made the capture of the Brazilian one of his priorities for the summer transfer window, with Barca said to be ready to let him go after Saturday’s Champions League final against Juventus.
The 32-year-old is out of contract at the Nou Camp this summer and has attracted the attentions of more than one top European club.
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Up until now it was believed that Paris Saint-Germain would be United’s main rivals in the race, but Laurent Blanc revealed earlier on today that a transfer that would see Alves move to the Parc des Princes wouldn’t be happening.
United in the lead
That means that Van Gaal’s United might be the most favoured destination for Alves, who will look for a new challenge having won all that there is to win with Barca in Spain. The veteran full-back has yet to test his mettle in the Premier League, and United can both afford to meet his wage demands and offer him Champions League football virtue of their top four finish.
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The Guardian’s report claims that Van Gaal is wary that the senior figures at United - the Glazer family included - are expecting big things next year, and so the Dutchman is set to take very few gambles in the transfer window.
Having already recruited Memphis Depay - a player he has worked extensively with at international level - players like Alves, who are proven winners, are the only ones who can cut the mustard.
Competitions for places
At the moment Van Gaal only has Antonio Valencia and Rafael da Silva to deploy as attacking right-backs, and reports would have it told that he doesn’t completely trust either of them in the position. Valencia is best served playing further forward where his speed can strike fear into defenders, whilst Rafael will be fortunate not to be sold this year.
As a result Alves wouldn’t be entering the Old Trafford fray with doubts in his mind over playing time, and that could be key when he makes his decision should he not be offered a last-minute Barca deal.
United have other options on the table, the likes of Seamus Coleman to name but one, but none of them can offer the pedigree Alves has, and during a year wherein the spotlight will be on Van Gaal that could be what’s most important.
United fans, do you think Alves would be a great addition to your side? Let us know your thoughts in the comments box below.