Barcelona boss happy to keep reported Manchester United target

Camp Nou

Luis Enrique insists that having Dani Alves in his starting line-up indicates his thoughts about keeping the Brazilian right-back at Barcelona.

Much speculation is surrounding the future of Brazilian right-back Dani Alves, who has yet to open negotiations with Barcelona regarding a new contract - a sore point for the player, along with his ex-wife and agent, Dinorah Santana.

Speaking with RAC1 radio at the start of March, as reported by Inside Spanish Football, Santana claimed: "We're close to signing with another club, the talks are advanced." Although she made a point of not naming who that club might be.

Rumours were abound before then, with reports in various media outlets (including the Express) that Dani Alves wanted a three- year deal to complete an end of season move to Manchester United, but since, the speculative floodgates have burst wide open. Amidst the myriad of clubs linked, Liverpool are tipped by Catalan outlet Sport as having opened negotiations, seeing the Brazilian as an ideal replacement for outward bound Glen Johnson.

The last straw for the player himself though was on Thursday, after claims his trip to Paris with friends was to complete paperwork and a pre-contract agreement with PSG.

“Do you really believe what they say? I’m a little tired now of people talking ****. I love this club and so I will continue here, but if one day the time comes to move on, then I will do so with the same balls that brought me this far, and I don’t need anyone to speak for me.” That was the blunt reply to the rumours that were being touted by Spanish sports paper, Marca, along with all the rest of the speculation about his future.

What Dani Alves has made painfully clear with his reaction is that if a new deal is offered by Barcelona, he'll sign. If not, then it's obvious that he'll then have to look elsewhere. The ball is in his court and he'll make the decision when he's good and ready.

Meanwhile, Barcelona manager Luis Enrique is in no doubt as to what the 31-year-old has to offer his side, when asked for the umpteenth time at his press call on Friday, the Asturian coach responding: "I've spoken countless times about the Dani Alves theme... You only need to look at my line-ups and the weight he has in our side. I love him, because he's a special player who trains and works at the very highest level. He's a complete professional."

As for whether the Brazilian will or won't stay at Barcelona, "It's between the player and the club to reach an agreement." Enrique concluded, refusing to discuss the matter further.

Barcelona do indeed have talks planned to renew the contract of Dani Alves, with the support of his manager and the new technical directive, despite their acceptance that he's free to hold talks with anyone else in the meantime. Even with all the clubs linked, particularly in the Premier League, and even though they've held back so far, they can feel fairly confident that staying at the Camp Nou would be the first choice for the player.

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