[dropcap]A[/dropcap]head of this summer’s transfer market, a host of players are set to leave their current employers and find new clubs on Bosman rulings.
Arguably the most high profile could be Barcelona and Brazil right-back Dani Alves, who will be a free agent at the end of the current campaign.
The defender’s future has been a major point of contention for many months in the Spanish press, with the South American star reluctant to pen a new deal at Camp Nou unless it is on his terms.
With reports of plenty of financially spurious suitors waiting in the wings, there is every chance that Alves could leave the Catalan club after seven years with the Blaugrana.
Despite the defender turning 32 earlier this month, the newly crowned La Liga champions should reconsider allowing Alves to walk away; here are five reasons Barcelona should give the Brazilian what he wants.
He is one of the old guard
Football and football clubs evolve, with Barcelona no exception – but the Catalans have undergone a major revamp in recent years.
From the contingent that followed Pep Guardiola into the record books, some major club figures have departed in recent years.
The team are no longer able to call on Carles Puyol, Víctor Valdés and now Xavi Hernández to be the leaders at Camp Nou, with experienced and long-serving stars not in plentiful abundance any more.
As such, keeping someone who has been at the club for the glory days and can help to instil the virtues that Barcelona stands for would be a key bonus.
His bond with Lionel Messi
Although Barcelona talisman Lionel Messi has played across the forward line in his time with the Catalan giants, more often than not he is deployed alongside Alves on the right flank.
The four-time Ballon d’Or winner has been in immaculate form in 2015 in this position, with his ongoing understanding with the Brazilian a key facet to Barcelona’s attacking play.
Alves creates regular assists for the Argentina international, while the pair have played together since the Brazilian arrived at the club in 2008.
With Messi also revealing that the 32-year-old is his best friend at Camp Nou, keeping the South American phenomenon happy comes into the equation when dealing with Alves’ contract situation.
A transfer ban
Of Barcelona’s 37 La Liga games to date this season, Alves has started 29, with few alternatives up to scratch in the current Blaugrana contingent to take his place.
As the club are serving a transfer ban until January 2016, the Catalans would surely be left short at right-back until next year if Alves was to leave in the summer.
The expense of signing a new full-back of the required calibre would be considerable, while the addition would take time to adapt to the Barca environment also.
For the case of continuity, extending the current incumbent’s deal makes more sense.
Danilo off to Real Madrid
Although there are plenty of excellent right-backs in the European game, one of the most promising was on the market earlier this year but has opted for a switch to Barcelona’s closest rivals.
Porto full-back Danilo, Alves’ countryman, would have been a superb replacement for the current Blaugrana full-back but will instead join Real Madrid next season.
Barcelona may well rue missing out on the up-and-coming Brazil international as he has all the traits to become one of the world’s best.
With Danilo no longer an option plenty of alternatives have been touted, but none quite so impressive.
Excellent current form
Regardless of the player’s age, Alves has been one of the standout performers for Barcelona in 2015 and continues to play a critical role for Luis Enrique’s men on the biggest stage.
Alves starred in both legs of his side’s Champions League semi-final triumph over Bayern Munich and can still be adjudged as one of the best players in his position on the planet.
Although the effects of age will make their presence felt further down the line, the Brazilian is still a very important player for the club and as such Barca would be effectively losing a first-team star by allowing his contract to run down.
Despite the likelihood of Alves’ camp demanding a long-term deal and significant wages, the expenditure looks worthwhile.
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