Brazilian Pens Two-Year Deal
Alves has signed a two-year deal with the option of a third season. In April, his agent and ex-wife Dinorah Santa Ana complained that the offer from Barca was “the smallest on the table” which raises questions as to why he has signed it.
Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain were also linked, but PSG coach Laurent Blanc withdrew from the race accusing Alves of using other clubs to try and secure a better deal from Barcelona.
In the end, Barca signed Aleixa Vidal from Sevilla on Monday. Vidal can also play at right-back and is being seen as a successor to Alves. That move appeared to usher Alves towards the exit but the 32-year-old was given an ultimatum to sign a new deal by the time club president Josep Maria Bartomeu handed in his resignation at 6pm local time this evening or see the offer withdrawn. That meant he would have to leave the club at the end of this month. Alves blinked first and put pen to paper this morning.
There must be questions over the quality of other bids or even if such bids even existed. Manchester United rarely sign outfield players over the age of 30 – a loan for Henrik Larsson in 2007 being one exception – so a move to Old Trafford always looked unlikely.
Alves spoke last month of being “200 percent committed to the team” but “not 100 percent committed to the club.” However, in a tearful speech at Barca’s triumphant homecoming on Sunday he stated: “I’ve been happy here and I am happy here. And if the day is not yet here that I am to leave, then I’ll be happy because I am one of you.”