Dani Alves is undoubtedly one of the most decorated footballers of all time. With 40 trophies during his career, he is undisputedly a legend of modern football. In a revealing interview with ESPN’s Moises Llorens, Alves spoke of his desire to play in the Premier League prior to retiring. He referred to a move to England prior to retirement as “the goal”, describing the Premier League as “a very exciting league”.
Given that Dani Alves is now 36 and is out of contract this summer, a move to England could be close.
Dani Alves Wants Premier League Move
The obvious answer is Manchester City, for this would see Alves reunite with Pep Guardiola. Although the two clashed at times during their time together at Barcelona, they achieved unprecedented success.
Alves played a huge role under Guardiola both on and off the pitch. His leadership qualities could fill the large void which will be left by Vincent Kompany’s departure. Whilst he would face stiff competition for the starting role against Kyle Walker, the opportunity to rotate could appeal to City, who continue to pursue European success.
With next season likely to again see City play over 50 games, squad depth will be vital. Furthermore, Alves told ESPN he continues to have a “very positive” relationship with Guardiola.
Dani Alves has been targeted by Chelsea on numerous occasions during the last decade. First when he was at Sevilla and then again when he left Barcelona. On both occasions, he came close to joining, particularly when departing Sevilla. On neither occasion did the move materialise, but it is evident that Chelsea are long term admirers of Alves.
The Chelsea right-back spot has belonged to Cesar Azpiliceuta in recent years. The Spaniard continues to perform at a consistently high level, unlike his deputy, Davide Zappacosta. With only four league appearances this season, Zappacosta is likely to leave Stamford Bridge this summer.
Chelsea have a lot of faith in youngster Reece James, who they see as Azpilicueta’s long-term replacement. However, after spending this season at Wigan Athletic, it would be a big ask for him to step in and contribute for Chelsea next season.
Dani Alves could, therefore, be a useful recruit for Chelsea in order to bridge the period of time until James is deemed ready for first team duty. With Azpiliceuta equally adept at centre back, it is not inconceivable that Alves and Azpilicueta start alongside each other.
Chelsea would also relish the opportunity for James to learn behind two excellent veterans. Whether or not Alves is a viable signing for Chelsea will hinge on the status of their transfer ban.
Arguably the team with the most glaring need at right-back, Manchester United have a huge hole to fill. Ashley Young played the brunt of the playing time there this season and was often exposed. With multiple off-season issues to address and not unlimited resources, a free agent signing of Alves’ calibre would be a huge boost for United. Alves would provide an enormous amount of experience to a changing room which appears to have adopted a losing mentality.
At first this seems a laughable suggestion, but Wolverhampton Wanderers are targeting progression from their excellent first season back in the top flight. With previous high calibre signings such as Joao Moutinho and star Ruben Neves on board, it is not out of the question that they may seek to pursue Dani Alves. With the appeal of Europa League football and the opportunity to genuinely compete with the top six, Wolves could prove an attractive option.
In his interview with ESPN, Dani Alves also spoke highly of the MLS. He admitted to finding the US “enticing” and did not rule out a move there. A big contract offer could entice Alves to follow his the same path as his former teammates Thierry Henry, Rafael Marquez and David Villa.