Barcelona star is an essential buy in Man United’s reform

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Changes are afoot at Barcelona, with a number of players thought to be heading out the Nou Camp doors for good when the current campaign ends.

Along with the man Arsenal should do everything in their powers to sign, right-back Dani Alves is a somewhat surprise name among the possible departing quota.

At 30-years-old and with just one year remaining on his contract beyond this season, Barcelona feel the time is right to cash in on Alves’ lofty reputation in the game, with Martin Montoya and Adriano ready to pick up the slack.

A couple of Premier League powerhouses are sure to try and take the 72-capped Brazilian off Barca’s hands, but it is Manchester United who should do everything within their power to nab the full-back.

An obvious and immediate stumbling block would be whether Alves would want to join a club that aren’t involved in Europe, and at 14/1 to finish in the top four it looks quite likely that United won’t be.

But, it could be that Alves will be glad of the break on his legs in order to sign with another of the world’s big clubs.

If that’s the case then the Red Devils should break their necks for one of the best attacking full-backs to have played the game.

Regularly supplementing attacks with his raids forward, Alves has also contributed at least two goals in nine of his last 10 seasons at either Sevilla or Barcelona and would usurp Rafael in the United first team.

While the young Brazilian has been one of Moyes’ better players this season, Alves would still command the first-team spot due to a better consistency of play, a trait United supporters often say the 23-year-old lacks.

However, the elder right-back’s arrival could be just the kind of career-guiding influence Rafael needs to scale Alves-like heights for United in the future.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.