The Brazilian international gathered the media on Monday to express his absolute disgust about the way Josep Maria Bartomeu’s board have treated him in recent times
Dani Alves is definitely not impressed. The Brazilian international gathered the media on Monday to express his absolute disgust about the way Josep Maria Bartomeu’s board have treated him in recent times.
According to the 32 year old right-back, the Catalans' board have disrespected him so repeatedly that he doesn’t feel valued by the club anymore. Although he did hint his desire to extend his current deal at the Camp Nou, he was adamant in his refusal to accept anything less than what he feels he is worth. "Right now, I'm almost out of FC Barcelona”, he went on to explain.
After 341 appearances in the last seven seasons, Cules are fully aware that Alves has been a key member of the most successful team in over 115 years of history. His influence has been decisive in order to bring a magnificent 17 trophies in that time and, for that, supporters will be forever grateful.
A regular starter since he joined the Camp Nou giants from Sevilla back in the summer of 2008, the Brazilian is now officially the foreigner with the most games for Barcelona. The relentless desire to achieve victory, eagerness to support teammates and
generous effort Alves has demonstrated over the years have granted him the trust of every single manager he has worked for, including Pep Guardiola, Tito Vilanova and, this season, Luis Enrique.
With that in mind, it may seem strange that the board haven’t made a more conscious effort to renew the contract of an international who is currently an automatic choice at right-back. Although Alves is supposedly facing competition from Martin Montoya and Douglas for his starting spot, it is evident that the Asturian manager simply doesn’t trust either of his potential replacements nowhere near enough for them to pose a real threat.
Former sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta spent months researching the market for a player who could cover the gap that the eventual departure of Alves would leave. Unfortunately, the Basque failed to convince initial targets Juan Cuadrado (now at Chelsea) or Danilo Luiz (already signed by Real Madrid). With an embarrassing 106 minutes of league football played in his first year at the Camp Nou, we can now safely argue that his decision to sign Douglas instead was an unforgivable mistake.
Barcelona are famously banned from signing any new players until January 2016 and, unless Alves agrees to renew his contract, they will start next season with only Montoya and Douglas as natural options at the right-back spot -- a situation that Alves is trying his best to take advantage of while negotiating a new deal.
Time to make a decision and stick with it, whether for better or worse
As a result, it has been reported that Bartomeu recently offered a year-on-year contract that would be automatically renewed if the Brazilian international played a certain amount of matches, around 60%. The proposed salary is believed to have remained pretty much the same as in recent seasons, in the region of €9 million per year.
Hand in heart, it is difficult to understand the reasons why Dani Alves would reject such a generous deal if he was truly interested in remaining at the Camp Nou.
The Brazilian international must understand that the club simply can’t afford to raise their offer for a player who is slowly but surely heading towards his mid-thirties. While it is obvious that Alves has given Barca a lot over the years, recognising his efforts should not compromise the future either.
The No.22 is reportedly asking for a three year contract. Sure, his performances have improved in the last four months but how can the club be sure that a player who was a shadow of his former self for the previous two years will still be worth €9 million per season at 35 years of age? The Camp Nou faithful were less than impressed with the quality of his crossing and overall attitude this time last season. How can Cules be sure his commitment won’t drop again if given a new contract?
And then there is the timing of his press conference. Anybody who has the interests of the club at heart would have definitely waited until both the Copa del Rey and the Champions League finals were over to complain in this manner in front of the world’s media. Luis Enrique and the rest of his Blaugrana teammates could have done without the potentially harmful circus his words have created, to be honest.
Don’t get me wrong, Dani Alves would be a great addition to next year’s team given his current form, experience and the obvious fact there is nobody better in his position within the squad at this moment in time. However, the 1+1+1 contract the Barca board has reportedly offered should be good enough for him to accept.
The ball is in your court, Dani. Time to make a decision and stick with it, whether for better or worse.
The Quote: “I have a limit and my limit has been reached. My intention was not to speak out but there has been so much nonsense that I had to act. I have spoken to the president and told him about the conditions which I need to keep me at the club” -- Dani Alves.