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Daniel Alves: Forget Liverpool, Man Utd. Why Barcelona future not yet over

COMMENT: Nothing about the Daniel Alves situation makes sense.

Alves's agent - and ex-wife - announced yesterday that negotiations were over. The Brazil fullback will leave Barcelona at the end of the season when his contract expires.

Why, with a summer market ban and no obvious replacement within the squad, would Barca allow Alves to move on?

It's not like the 31 year-old is on his last legs. Alves is now in his seventh year with Barca, a first-choice this season for coach Luis Enrique, and still regarded by many as the world's best right-back.

Douglas, signed from Sao Paulo in the summer, is barely on the fringes of Enrique's senior squad and Martin Montoya, for all his potential, has failed to dislodge his senior teammate after three years of asking.

Then there's Danilo, who was identified as Alves' potential successor. They may be slapping themselves on the back for forcing Real Madrid to make the Porto man the club's most expensive defensive signing - but he is still going to Madrid this summer. Even the influence of Brazil captain Neymar wasn't enough.

Gerard Pique and Javier Mascherano have both been very vocal about the need to keep hold of Alves. But the current regime have blundered this one.

Alves wanted three years - but Barca, understands, insisted on an extraordinarily structured deal. Yes, there was an outline for a three-year 'arrangement', but with a break clause at the end of each season if he failed to play 60 per cent of games.

Should you really be treating a player, after seven years of frontline service, with such disregard to his security? Particularly given the way Barca have dragged their feet in coming to the table?

Dinorah Santana, Alves' representative, broke off negotiations in disgust. But she did mention that there were "two offers of three years" in front of them, though PSG were not among interested parties.

Liverpool and Manchester United, where good friend Victor Valdes is now on the books, have been mentioned as likely suitors.

But, again, the idea that either English club are offering a 31 going on 32 year-old a three-year deal goes against their policy of contracts for over-30s.

How will Reds fans, indeed how will the 'media boot room', take seeing Alves arrive on a three-year deal just as Steven Gerrard leaves for LA Galaxy courtesy - in no small part - to FSG's contract policy?

However, there could still be a way back for Alves before next season.

With Josep Maria Bartomeu calling an early election, slated for June, there is every chance of his rival candidates running with Alves part of their ticket.

Indeed, just what was Dinorah implying when she said last night: "He has had conversations with future candidates.

"PSG have not made an offer, but we have two offers of three years."

The story may not be over for Dani Alves and Barcelona.


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Chris Beattie
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