Alexis Sanchez will convince Dani Alves to choose Arsenal over Manchester United

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Arsenal winger Alexis Sanchez will use his friendship with former teammate Dani Alves to convince the Barcelona defender to snub Manchester United in favour of joining him at the Emirates Stadium.

According to the Daily Star, Gunners boss Arsene Wenger is hoping to take advantage of his £35 million signing's relationship with the marauding full-back - established during their time playing together at Camp Nou - to persuade him to move to north London rather than Old Trafford.

Louis van Gaal is on the lookout for defensive reinforcements and wants to provide competition for Antonio Valencia and Rafael on the right flank by bringing the Brazil international to the Theatre of Dreams.

Given the Red Devils manager's preference to play with a 3-5-2 formation with wing backs, his alleged interest in the 31-year-old is understandable, particularly when you consider that Alves is out of contract at Barcelona at the end of the season.

However, Arsenal's plans to sign the South American star is somewhat surprising when you take into account the recent rise of Hector Bellerin and the fact they splashed out on a deal for Mathieu Debuchy last summer.

There's no doubt that Alves would represent a great Bosman free acquisition, but make no mistake the word 'bargain' is wholly inaccurate, because with wages of around £100,000-a-week the former Sevilla star is likely to cost his next club up to £15 million if they cave in to the player's demands for a three-year deal.

Alves is still a regular fixture in Luis Enrique's first-team, and Barcelona are still hopeful of convincing the flying full-back to sign an extension. However, as talks over a new contract continue to stall, speculation linking him with a Premier League move continue to escalate.

Sanchez is not the only ex-teammate that Alves could speak to about a prospective transfer after Manchester United completed the transfer of Victor Valdes in January.

The Spanish goalkeeper has been without a club since leaving Barcelona last summer, and after completing his rehabilitation from a serious anterior cruciate ligament injury by training with the Red Devils squad, Van Gaal rewarded him with the offer of an 18-month deal.

Valdes was signed as a back-up to first-choice stopper David De Gea and is yet to make a senior appearance for the club. However, with rumours circulating that he's being targeted by Real Madrid, don't be surprised to see the 33-year-old between the sticks for Manchester United in the future.

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