According to Fifa agent Francois Gallardo, Dani Alves has agreed to join Manchester United when his Barcelona contract expires.
The 31-year-old Brazil international has been at the Camp Nou since 2008, when the Catalan giants agreed a £30million package with Sevilla for his signature. He has gone on to make over 300 appearances for the club in all competitions, and has helped them win numerous honours including four league titles and the UEFA Champions League twice.
However, Alves is out of contract at the end of the current campaign, and it is believed he is yet to be offered fresh terms to extend his stay. This means, as it stands, he is eligible to agree a deal with a club outside of Spain in January, which would allow him to join a new employer during the summer and ahead of the 2015-16 season.
The right fullback’s agent has recently revealed that no decision on his future will even be considered until December at the very earliest, but speaking to Spanish television show Neox, Fifa agent Gallardo claimed: “The player (Alves) will leave Barcelona next season. He has signed a preliminary agreement with Manchester United.”
Rafael da Silva is the current occupant of the right-back slot at Old Trafford, and he will be 25 at the start of next season compared to Alves who will have by that time turned 32. Phil Jones and Chris Smalling also offer alternative options for Louis van Gaal, although it is more than likely that the Dutch coach prefers both players in other positions.
United, meanwhile, have also been linked with Ryan Shawcross. The 27-year-old developed through the youth ranks of the club but failed to force his way into the first team, which sparked his £1million move to Stoke City in 2008. He has since established himself as one of the most solid central defenders in the Premier League, and he would certainly add more strength to a back four which has lost Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic recently.
However, Stoke manager Mark Hughes, speaking in his press conference on Friday, said: “There’s been no contact and I don’t expect there to be any, and we wouldn’t encourage any. Ryan is very settled here, he is the captain of the club and we have no intention of allowing him to leave. He’s a big part of what we want to do in the future.”
Would Alves be a good signing for United, or should van Gaal be looking for a younger alternative? Let us know what you think by joining the discussion below.