Manchester City are reportedly ready to sign free agent Dani Alves, but a potential move for the 36-year-old would depend on another player leaving.
Globo Esporte reported that the Brazil international is in Pep Guardiola’s sights, but a transfer would only happen if fellow right-back Danilo were to leave the Etihad Stadium.
According to Globo Esporte, Manchester City’s pursuit of Alves is complicated by concerns over breaching Financial Fair Play rules, while the club have also filled their permissible quota of 17 foreign players for their Premier League squad.
Globo Esporte added that Arsenal have also entered discussions about the possible acquisition of the veteran right-back.
Alves may be 36 and a free agent after leaving Paris Saint-Germain in June, but his status as Player of the Tournament at the recent Copa America indicates that he still has plenty to offer to prospective suitors such as Manchester City.
The Brazil international has won an incredible 40 trophies during his playing career, including three Champions Leagues, six La Liga titles, five Copas del Rey and two Copas America.
While Alves may not be a very frequent scorer (eight in two seasons at PSG), he has proven very capable of creating scoring opportunities for others, with an assists tally of 18 over the last two campaigns.
By comparison, Danilo has scored four goals and provided just three assists in his two seasons so far at Manchester City, while Kyle Walker has two goals and eight assists from his two years at the Etihad.
Alves’ crossing statistics are also far more favourable than the two Manchester City right-backs. The Brazil defender averaged 0.7 crosses per game last season, compared to 0.2 per game for Danilo and 0.1 for Walker.
Alves’ tendency to surge up the touchline into the attacking third of the pitch (former Juventus player Liam Brady hailed him as “the best attacking right-back in the world“) helped him to achieve an average of 1.4 key passes per game last season. Walker’s average for this metric was 0.7, with Danilo averaging 0.4 key passes per game.
Alves’ effectiveness in the attacking third is still abundant, as his statistics from last season show, and he would likely offer Manchester City more of a threat going forward than either Danilo or Walker.
At 28, Danilo might be eight years younger than Alves, but has still not been as effective as the ex-Barcelona man and was largely second choice at right-back last season, featuring in only 11 Premier League games compared to Walker’s 33.
By effectively swapping him out for Alves, Manchester City should be able to attract a tidy transfer sum (Danilo is valued at £18m on Transfermarkt.co.uk) while also getting a greater attacking threat in Alves for nothing.
Therefore, even if it means selling Danilo, the creative threat of Alves would certainly be worth adding to their repertoire.
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