As another global star’s contract runs down it’s no surprise to see Manchester United head the pack of clubs willing to offer Dani Alves a new home as early as January.
Barcelona’s raiding right-back has entered the final 12 months of his current Nou Camp deal and with rumours afoot that Luis Enrique won’t extend it; Man United and Liverpool are mentioned as early frontrunners to offer the 31-year-old a new home.
Either Premier League giant is likely to face a battle for Alves’ signature though, with Inter Milan and Paris St-Germain also paying close attention to the developing situation.
But given United’s recently acquired affection for netting European football’s biggest fish, regardless of cost, Old Trafford immediately feels like the most likely destination for Alves to land.
With Sir Alex Ferguson’s youth development policy ditched in favour of a Real Madrid-esque ‘galactico’ recruitment drive under Louis van Gaal this summer, Alves fits the new breed of transfer targets perfectly.
Furthermore, the Red Devils’ need for a quality right-back far outweighs that of Liverpool’s right now.
Alves’ compatriot Rafael remains injury-prone and unreliable, while neither of United’s makeshift options of Chris Smalling or Phil Jones fit into Van Gaal’s wing-back system as wide players.
Meanwhile, the Blaugrana ace has become the gold standard for attacking full-backs during his silverware-laden spell with Spain’s tika-taka masters and would represent the perfect fit for the role.
Liverpool currently have Glen Johnson, Javier Manquillo and Jon Flanagan vying for the right-back slot, so shifting the former in order to make room for the Samba star seems key.
In the meantime United’s latest galactico, Radamel Falcao, is widely fancied to open his account on debut at home to QPR where the Colombian is a 3/1 chance to score first.
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