The Brazilian full-back’s current deal expires at the end of this season, and Barcelona know that they will not be able to sign a replacement until January 2016 due to their ongoing transfer ban. With his future up in the air, the Manchester Evening News reported that Alves’s agent was in talks with the Red Devils concerning a free transfer to Old Trafford in the summer, and the 31-year-old is said to be keen on the move.
However, he has not yet given up on his future at Camp Nou, and contract talks are currently ongoing between his representatives and the club. Douglas and Martin Montoya are the two other right-backs in the Barca squad, and, although both could have bright futures, neither have shown that they are ready to claim a first-team spot for the Catalan giants as yet. Scared of losing Alves without being able to bring in cover, Marca claimed that the club were offering him a new deal, although the talks have stalled with the club unwilling to match his contract demands.
The continuing delay of the deal will likely bring hope to United if they intend to submit a formal approach for Alves, and Bartomeu’s latest comments will also hint to the Red Devils that a deal could be possible, with the Barcelona president confirming that he does not know if the Brazilian international will sign a new contract.
Speaking to AS in Spain, Bartomeu said: “We are planning for next year. [Carles] Rexach and [Ariedo] Braida are other directors and they are working on things.
“I don’t know if [Alves] will stay, but we cannot sign players until January 1, 2016.”
If United truly are keen on signing Alves, it would be a surprise if they did not start formalising an approach in the coming weeks, as the player himself delays on the Barcelona contract. More likely that not, the La Liga club will give in to his demands to ensure he remains at the club as first-choice for the coming years, and the Red Devils could miss out on their reported target if they wait until the end of the season to wrap up a deal.