As Roberto Mancini maintains a long-standing interest in Dani Alves, Manchester City’s Italian boss will be keeping a close eye on developments at the Nou Camp in the coming weeks.
This comes in the aftermath of a bust-up between Alves and his club, where the point of contention is the Brazilian’s decision to partake in a friendly without Barcelona’s permission.
Alves has only recently undergone surgery to repair a fractured collarbone, and played 25 minutes of a charity match, which also featured Lionel Messi, without seeking advice from the Catalan club’s medical team.
Tension between the player and club is believed to have emanated as a result, and Premier League champions City, who have long admired the full-back, could be set to capitalise.
Mancini was rumoured to be willing to pay £40m for the tireless right-back only a year ago, but may now tempt the Copa del Rey champions to do business for a significantly lower fee.
The 29-year-old defender did commit his future to Barcelona earlier this month, but after being unhappy with the club’s inability to distance him from exit rumours not long ago, it remains to be seen how Alves will react to this latest debacle.
Indeed Barca, now under the stewardship of Tito Vilanova, are said to be considering disciplinary action against the former Seville ace, which would go a long way to further souring relations between club and player.
Alves told Globosporte a week ago “I have a contract until 2016 and I intend to fulfil it. I’m happy in Barcelona. A lot of things get said but they are only rumours”, but that could now be set to change.
Rumours did in fact persist early in the summer that Vilanova may be willing to sell Alves in order to raise funds for summer additions too, and the new Barca coach could accept a fee in the region of £20m for the player, which would be easily affordable for City.