Barcelona’s reshuffle following the departure of Pep Guardiola may begin sooner rather than later, with Dani Alves potentially the first player to leave the Nou Camp.
In Alves’ first three seasons at Barcelona after being signed for €35m from Sevilla, he played more minutes than any other outfield player within the club’s ranks.
However, his relationship with Guardiola began to fizzle out in the current campaign and as a result he was left out of some crunch encounters, including the 5-1 La Liga success over Valencia and the second leg of the Champions League semi final with Chelsea.
There can be considered two main reasons for this development, with the first being that Alves was spending too much time forward and avoiding his defensive responsibilities when Guardiola was persisting with a new 3-4-3 formation.
According to the Spanish press, this was despite Alves being constantly reminded to work backwards as well as forwards.
The second reason was far more personal, as Alves’ break up from his wife was resulting in too many late night drinking sessions, which was impacting his focus on the team.
Alves still wants to remain at Barcelona and will believe that he can start afresh under new manager Tito Vilanova.
However, Barcelona look ready to cash in on Alves, especially if Anzhi are prepared to offer a €40m, which will offer a profit on the sum they paid and a hefty sum for a player on the brink of his 29th birthday.
The chance to join up again with former Barcelona teammate Samuel Eto’o may sway Alves’ decision, while Roberto Carlos’ ties to the club may also help convince him that the move is a good one.