Barcelona's hierarchy have made some strange decisions in the recent past, but none can hold a candle to the news that they are willing to let Dani Alves leave in the summer.
The Brazilian, despite his faults, remains far and away the clubs' best right-back yet Barca have steadfastly refused to negotiate a new contract with him to this point. Clearly, if words attributed to his agent are correct, Alves wishes to see out his playing days in Catalonia.
He is also savvy enough to realise that if an offer is not forthcoming soon then he has to look after himself and his family and that will mean looking at offers from elsewhere. The alternatives to Alves are almost not worth contemplating.
Martin Montoya is a reasonably adept defender however in the system that Barca like to play, the youngster is often found wanting.
Most assists for Messi
Part of Alves' appeal is his desire to get forward and his excellence in the attacking areas. He remains the player with most assists to Lionel Messi for example. Montoya is reticent when out of his defensive comfort zone and rarely do we see completed passes or crosses from the 23-year-old. You sense there is almost a hesitation to that side of his game, that perhaps he is not completely comfortable there.
Another Brazilian, Douglas, is the only other player that is a natural in the position but the fact that he has only taken part in two games since signing in the summer, and more often than not has been left out of the match-day squad altogether, tells you all you need to know about how he is perceived by the management.
Yes, previous Sporting Director Andoni Zubizarreta has a lot to answer for.
Right back Bartra?
There have been suggestions coming out of Camp Nou that, perhaps, Marc Bartra could be converted into a right-back. It's a position he played under Luis Enrique for Barca B and the club already have a template for the role in Carles Puyol.
Not a bad option to consider, however Bartra is clearly coming into his own in the central defensive areas and it would therefore be a shame to have a make-do-and-mend scenario that will take the youngster out of his natural habitat.
Which brings us back to Alves.
No drop in quality
He isn't getting any younger, but age has not wearied him. We can still find him shuttling up and down that right channel from first until last, with no drop off in quality. Indeed, aside from 2012/13, this season has been his best for pass completion success and accuracy.
Barca can't buy a replacement because of the transfer ban, another fabulous endorsement of this Barca board, so not renewing Alves makes no sense whatsoever. But then sense is something that Barca's powers-that-be have been devoid of for some while now.
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