The Guardian are reporting that Manchester City are on the verge of securing the signing of Juventus full-back Dani Alves as Pep Guardiola steps up his recruitment drive for next season.
The Brazilian only joined the Italian champions last summer and signed a two-year deal after Barcelona allowed him to leave on a free transfer. He made 33 appearances and scored six goals in his debut campaign in Turin and helped the club to secure a sixth consecutive Serie A title in addition to reaching the final of the Champions League.
Alves has had an illustrious career which has seen him pick up 30 major trophies following success spells with Sevilla, Barcelona and Juventus whilst also being awarded various personal accolades. At 34 years of age, the defender is undoubtedly entering the twilight of his career but that has not dissuaded Guardiola, who has previously worked with him at the Nou Camp.
Manchester City have been told that a bid in the region of £5 million would be enough persuade Juventus to sell Alves and it is believed that the Brazilian is keen to link up with his former manager.
What would he bring?
Dani Alves is regarded as being one of the best full-backs of his generation and has a full trophy cabinet to prove it.
The Brazilian is recognised for his offensive play which is characterised by his driving forward runs and overlapping movements. His pace, stamina and energy combined with his technical proficiency on the ball has made him one of the most dangerous attacking full backs in the modern game, who is renowned for creating and scoring goals. However, Alves has received criticism throughout his career for neglecting the defensive aspect of his duties.
Despite his age, the 34-year-old has experienced something of a renaissance at Juventus, with his physical and technical ability certainly not appearing to have diminished, yet it is difficult to determine how he would adapt to the rigorous demands of English football.
Alves has spent 13 seasons plying his trade in Spain and one campaign in Italy, where the domination of specific clubs does not align to the ultra-competitive culture of the Premier League. Whilst his offensive ability would certainly suit Manchester City, the defensive side of his game would be scrutinised and tested on a weekly basis.
Is a move likely?
After a trophy-less first season in English football, Pepe Guardiola is stepping up the recruitment drive at Manchester City as the club attempts to earn their spot amongst the elite of European football.
The Citizens are in the market for defensive reinforcements after opting to allow Bacary Sagna, Gael Clichy and Pablo Zabaleta to depart at the end of their contracts – leaving Aleksandar Kolarov as the club’s only senior fullback. Jesus Navas, a winger by trade, was utilised as a make-shift right-back towards the end of the campaign, but the Spaniard has also been released. Dani Alves would provide a cheap and immediate solution.
Guardiola has worked with the Brazilian before at Barcelona and the pair have a good working relationship. Writing on the Players’ Tribune website in the buildup to the Champions League final earlier this month, Alves was full of praise for the Spaniard, saying “if you turn the word ‘computer’ backwards, it spells ‘Steve Jobs’. If you turn the word ‘football’ backwards, it spells ‘Pep’. He is a genius”.
It looks increasing likely that Dani Alves will link up with Pep Guardiola at Manchester City.
Juventus will be relatively comfortable cashing-in and making a £5 million profit on a player who only joined the club on a free transfer twelve months ago. Meanwhile, for City, the Brazilian would provide a cheap and immediate solution to their defensive issues.
However, it is unclear how effective the 34-year-old will be in English football considering that he is entering the twilight of his career and there will be concerns over the defensive side of his game.
Alves looks certain to sign – the more pertinent question is would City be better off signing a younger fullback?
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