If Dani Alves had plans to end his Barcelona career on a high then he will have to do his best to ensure they challenge for honours in both Spain and Europe this season.
It now seems almost certain that the Brazilian will leave the Nou Camp in the summer as he has refused Barcelona’s offer of a new contract and the club have revealed that this is the best they will offer.
Alves’ current contract expires in 2012, but Barcelona will want to sell sooner rather than later to enhance their chances of getting a good price for the full-back.
Manager Pep Guardiola has ruled out selling Alves in January with no replacement in the pipeline, but the likes of Manchester City and Chelsea are sure to make offers come the end of the campaign to lure the former Sevilla defender.
Alves has featured in all 11 of Barcelona’s La Liga games this season, starting on ten occasions, and his position is the one place where they seem to have an obvious shortage of experienced cover.
Furthermore, there are three or four young prospects at the Nou Camp who appear to be closing in on gaining some first-team experience, but none are obvious right backs.
Therefore, without Alves in the team, Guardiola will be forced to play someone like Carles Puyol in an unfavoured position or he will have to delve into the transfer market to find a replacement.
Barcelona are currently a point behind Real Madrid in the Spanish top flight, but remain the 5/6 favourites to win La Liga.
Despite Alves’ disagreements with the club, he is still almost certain to start in Barcelona’s next La Liga game away at Almeria.
Barcelona are 1/4 to beat Almeria and Alves’ rampaging runs could make him a decent outside bet to be the game’s first goalscorer at 14/1.
Alves has already won two La Liga titles since signing for Barcelona. See the full La Liga winners football betting odds market.