Manchester: Manchester City have approached Juventus over a move for Dani Alves, with Pep Guardiola prepared to offer the Brazil international a two-year contract as he steps up his recruitment drive for next season.
City are searching for defensive options after allowing Bacary Sagna and Gaël Clichy to leave when their contracts expire at the end of this month. A move for Tottenham’s Kyle Walker has failed to reach a breakthrough, with Spurs holding out for a fee in excess of £40 million (Dh187.8 million) for the England international.
That has led Guardiola to inquire after Alves, with whom he worked at Barcelona. Juventus have confirmed they could be open to selling a player who especially impressed during the Serie A winners’ run to the Champions League final — notably in the semi-final victory against Monaco, in which he was involved in his side’s first three goals across the tie before scoring the fourth.
Alves still has one year left on his contract and City have been told a bid of around £5 million would be sufficient to persuade the Turin club to sell the 34-year-old.
Despite reports in Spain that a deal has already been agreed, it is understood negotiations are continuing but Alves has agreed a contract in principle to link up with his former manager.
Gonzalo Higuain’s apparent goodbye video message further fuelled the speculation after the Argentine told the Brazilian: “Bye genius, never change. Keep spreading your happiness which is what matters most in life, laughing and being happy. Take care.”
Higuain quickly deleted the post on Instagram, but Alves claimed the message was for a television programme and had nothing to do with his future.
Alves won 14 trophies under Guardiola in just four seasons and has the utmost respect for him.
Writing on the Players’ Tribune website in the buildup to the Champions League final earlier this month, Alves said: “If you turn the word ‘computer’ backwards, it spells ‘Steve Jobs’. If you turn the word ‘football’ backwards, it spells ‘Pep’. He is a genius. I’ll say it again. A genius.”
Few players quite understand Guardiola like Alves and he even has a theory on why his former boss rubs his head so much.
“The funniest thing was if we came in at halftime and the game wasn’t going well. Pep would sit down and rub his forehead,” he told The Players’ Tribune.
“You know how he rubs his head? You’ve seen it, right? Like he’s massaging his brain, searching for the genius to come to him. He would do this right in front of us in the dressing room. Then, like magic, it would come to him.
“Bang! ‘I’ve got it!’ Then he would jump up and start barking out instructions, drawing maths and figures on the board.
‘We will do this, this and this, and then this is how we will score.’ So we would go out, and we would do this, this and this. And that’s how we would score. It was crazy.”