Juventus must win race Dani Alves

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Juventus must make sure they fend off interest from Manchester United for Barcelona right-back Dani Alves.

The Brazilian is set to leave the Catalan giants with his contract due to expire in the summer, and Luis Enrique may opt to sell the fullback in January in order to prevent him leaving for nothing next year.

And with Louis van Gaal keen to bolster his back-line after a sluggish start to the season, Massimiliano Allegri must push on with his bid to secure one of the most decorated defenders in world football.

Key player

Despite his powers somewhat lessening with age, Alves remains a key play for the La Liga side and boasts a vast amount of experience that would prove beneficial in Juventus’ hunt for silverware.

He was part of the side that lifted the Champions League in 2009 and 2011 under the stewardship of Pep Guardiola, and also helped them to four league titles in five years despite the heavyweight spending of fierce rivals Real Madrid.

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Despite Guardiola leaving the club in 2012 he remained a prominent fixture under the late Tito Vilanova and later Gerardo Martino, but Enrique’s faith in youngster Martin Montoya has left him stewing on the substitute’s bench.

He has also been capped 79 times by his country, though played second fiddle to former Inter Milan and Manchester City defender Maicon during the World Cup on home soil and was an unused substitute as they were dumped from the competition by eventual champions Germany earlier this year.

Juventus mission?

Allegri has responded to criticism at the start of the season by guiding current Serie A champions Juventus to the top of the table, three points clear of Rudi Garcia’s Roma.

However despite bringing ex-United defender Patrice Evra and Real Madrid forward Alvaro Morata to Turin the Italian is still in need of a right-back if they are to have a successful season ahead.

Experience may be lost in the form of Giorgio Chiellini who is another free to sign on with another club in the New Year, and moving for Alves would fill the large void that would be left in his wake.

His profile could also help them end their agonising wait for glory on the European front, with their current form in the Champions League leaving much to be desired.

Manchester or Turin?

Van Gaal’s interest in the player is genuine and Alves’ own desire to play in the Premier League could see the pendulum swing the Dutchman’s way.

However, the 31-year-old may wish to see out his contract with his current side in order to make a decision at the end of the season which could make the Old Lady favourites for his signature if United miss out on a place in the Champions League for a second successive season.

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