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Dani Alves to Manchester United?

According to the Express (and various other sources), 31-year-old Barcelona right back Dani Alves has agreed to join Manchester United following the conclusion of the 2014/15 season on a free transfer. Reports of this transfer being already agreed emerged earlier today in light of comments made by FIFA agent Francois Gallardo; speaking on a Spanish TV show he said this:

‘The player will leave Barcelona next season. He has signed a preliminary agreement with Manchester United’

The legitimacy of this claim must be called into question considering that this quote emanates from the same man who claimed Lionel Messi would leave Barcelona back in March and that Pep Guardiola would succeed Roberto Mancini at Manchester City.

If the Brazilian fullback does join Manchester United next season he would undoubtedly provide experience and class to a position that currently contains only one recognised player that can competently play in that role on a consistent basis in the form of Rafael.

Alves is currently embarking on a 7th season at the Nou Camp in a back line that is yet to concede a goal after 7 matches La Liga. The Brazilian has had an illustrious career; he has won 3 Copa Del Rey medals, 4 La Liga medals, 4 ‘Supercopa’ medals, 2 Champions League medals, 2 UEFA Super Cups and 2 FIFA World club cup medals in 575 club appearances (scoring 35 goals).

Quite impressive, and his individual honours are arguably more impressive; La Liga’s best defender in 2009, UEFA team of the year in 2007, 2009 and 2011, FIFPro world XI in 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2013 as well as being in the ESPN team of the year 5 times from the years of 2007-2013.

You’d be mad if you were to complain about Dani Alves playing for Manchester United next season; he brings experience and calmness to a defence as well as a menacing attacking threat. The inclusion of a big name that is nearing the latter stages of his career isn’t necessarily tantamount to Louis van Gaal’s philosophy of introducing youth players. Should this move go ahead it would be an excellent inclusion but also a seemingly damning indictment of the managers lack of belief in the likes of Reece James and Marnick Vermijl.

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By Leo Nieboer

Mourning the loss of Danny Welbeck

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