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.[interaction id=”59490ec7f03c53313d6ed33c”]
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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Tottenham Hotspur 1-2 Juventus: Three talking points from Wembley
Tottenham bowed out of Europe against an experienced Juventus side.
Tottenham Hotspur crashed out of the Champions League after Juventus produced an inspired fightback to progress to the quarter-finals. The in-form Son Heung-min had put Spurs 3-2 ahead on aggregate shortly before the interval, but two goals in three second-half minutes changed the complexion of the tie.
First, Gonzalo Higuain stabbed home the equaliser before Paulo Dybala completed the comeback with a delicate finish. Harry Kane hit the post in the dying moments, but Spurs’ exit at the hands of last season’s runners-up was confirmed as they failed to score a second goal. Here are three talking points from Wembley Stadium..
Max Allegri outfoxes his Tottenham counterpart
So poor were Juventus in the first half that they were fortunate to be only one goal behind on the night and still in the tie. There was no indication of what was to come, as Max Allegri’s side transformed the match in the second period. At the final whistle, the Juve boss headed straight down the tunnel instead of venturing on to the pitch to celebrate with his players. But it was his tactical switch that paved the way for their victory.
With an hour on the clock, on came Kwadwo Asamoah and Stephan Lichtsteiner, who injected much-needed pace and guile. The visitors changed formation and suddenly they were getting in between the lines, with Dybala becoming much more effective. Within minutes, Juve were 2-1 ahead and in their element. Once in front, they managed the game brilliantly and didn’t look like conceding. Mauricio Pochettino, who could only stand and watch it all unfold, had been outwitted by the master.
Future looks bright despite heartbreaking exit
Disappointment may be the overriding emotion for all involved at Tottenham right now, but once the dust has settled they should look back at their Champions League adventure with pride. For this was the season they arrived as a major force on the European stage. Victories over Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund in a group they topped were huge fillips and evidence of their continued progress under Pochettino.
Spurs were unlucky to be drawn against a club of Juventus’ pedigree in the last 16 and it was the Italians’ knowhow that paid dividends in the heat of the battle. The hosts looked a little naive, but the experience will benefit them in the future. Tottenham are odds-on to finish in the top four and thereby qualify for the Champions League again next season. Should Pochettino be given the funds to invest in his squad this summer, the club’s fans can look forward to more nights under the spotlight.
In-form Son strikes again for Spurs
The South Korean, who was given the nod ahead of Erik Lamela in the starting line-up, vindicated his selection with the opening goal at Wembley. Son had already gone close to breaking the deadlock and was causing Andrea Barzagli all sorts of problems with his marauding runs. There was more than a touch of fortune about the goal, which rebounded off his left leg and wrong-footed veteran keeper Gianluigi Buffon, but it was no less than the Spurs forward deserved.
Son came close to levelling the tie in the latter stages but, ultimately, it was to be neither his nor Tottenham’s night. With 16 goals in all competitions this season, the 25-year-old is making a big impression. He was the home side’s most potent attacking force, upstaging both Kane and Dele Alli at Wembley. Son has finally established himself in the starting XI and Spurs fans will hope he can continue to ease the goalscoring burden on Kane.
Juventus eye up Chelsea’s Gary Cahill as a replacement for Leonardo Bonucci – Should they let him go?
In a surprising news item, The Sun claim that Juventus could look to Chelsea to replace Leonardo Bonucci after the Italian’s move to AC Milan and may target Gary Cahill as a replacement.
The Chelsea captain is currently serving a three game suspension after his red card on the opening day, but the Italian club may be hoping that he has played his last game for the Blues. They are reportedly prepared to spend as much as £16.5 million to bring him to the Juventus Stadium.
That could be tempting for Chelsea given that Cahill is 31-years-old and undoubtedly past his best. With a number of young defenders coming through, including the likes of Kurt Zouma and Andreas Christensen, it could be tempting to cash in on Cahill and give more opportunities for them to develop.
His rash challenge against Burnley also left his team in the lurch and critics have claimed that it was symbolic of how out of depth the former Bolton man is as captain of the Premier League champions. With mounting pressure, he will need to be up to scratch when under scrutiny more than anyone.
However, Cahill was only recently appointed captain and it would send out entirely the wrong message if he was to be sold now. After a disastrous transfer window so far, it would not only be a psychological blow to lose the club captain, but would also leave Antonio Conte with less than a week to replace him.
His experience is also invaluable. Whilst the likes of Christensen may be knocking on the door of the starting line-up, he will need experienced heads like Cahill’s in and around him to help his development to reach his full potential as a Chelsea player in the years to come.
It could be tempting for Chelsea to allow Cahill to move on, and had this move have happened in June, it may well stand a chance of happening. Now with the season under way and only a matter of days away from the transfer window closing, it would be an incomprehensible decision if Chelsea do sell their captain.
Claudio Marchisio linked to Chelsea – what would he bring?
Chelsea are likely to be active until the final days of the transfer window as they look to add quality and depth to their squad. Antonio Conte currently lacks options outside of his starting eleven and competition is needed if they are to successfully defend their title. Gazzetta dello Sport report that the Italian is interested in signing Claudio Marchisio, who he has worked closely with before.
The midfielder is understood to be unhappy at Juventus due to being a bit-part player under the current regime. Ahead of the World Cup, he wants to play regular first team football and could be prepared to force a move before the transfer window closes. The Serie A champions already have a lot of players in the position and have recently bought Blaise Matuidi, which further limit the minutes that Marchisio is likely to be given.
What would he bring to Stamford Bridge?
The Blues have been criticised for their lack of ambition and poor squad planning this summer, but those will quickly be brushed to one side if they can land Marchisio. Despite having an underwhelming 2016/17 campaign, the midfielder is still regarded as a great player and it would send a statement to the rest of the division if Chelsea manage to bring him to the Premier League.
There is already a working relationship between Marchisio and Conte, which would mean that he would be able to adapt quickly to the style at Chelsea. He understands what it requires to be successful in a team managed by his fellow Italian, while the Blues’ manager trusts the midfielder. That can’t be said about certain other players currently at Stamford Bridge.
It has already been evident that Chelsea are short in central midfield as they resorted to playing David Luiz there at the weekend. The Brazilian played well, but it underlined the squad problems that the club have. Marchisio is disciplined and capable of carrying out a specific role in the team, which appeals to Conte. He can be a creative presence from deep and offers more than Cesc Fabregas does in terms of defensive work. It would be a smart signing if the Blues can pull it off.
How likely is a deal?
Juventus have already lost two important players this summer in Dani Alves and Leonardo Bonucci. It would be a surprise if they also let Marchisio leave the club. The midfielder could force the issue, but unless Chelsea submit a huge offer, a transfer looks unlikely at this late stage of the window. Conte will want to add another central midfielder, but there are other positions that are viewed as a bigger priority.
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