Should Barcelona have done more to keep Dani Alves?

Dani Alves

The Brazilian seems set to tie up a deal with PSG, leaving Barcelona to weigh up alternative options at right-back.

Reports in a number of Spanish media outlets, including Marca, would seem to suggest that Brazilian right-back Dani Alves will be leaving Barcelona this summer, with a deal on the table from French outfit PSG ready to be accepted by the player and his agent, Dinorah Santana, is in Paris apparently finalising terms for her client and ex-husband.

The same reports indicate that PSG have offered Dani Alves roughly €9 million per season over the next three campaigns in order to secure his services. Meanwhile, it's speculated that Barcelona were somewhat sluggishly preparing to offer him around €6 million per season. Whether the Catalan club were prepared to offer him a deal over three seasons though, has remained a mystery.

Whilst nothing is yet definitive regarding the future of Dani Alves, until at least the player, his representative Dinorah Santana, PSG or Barcelona make an official announcement, it would appear that his time at the Camp Nou is drawing to a close. At 31-years-old, this represents one of the last opportunities for the player to secure an important contract financially.

For many, there is surprise at the apparent indecision from Barcelona, when it comes to securing the services of one of their key players. Especially considering the FIFA transfer ban, which prevents them from registering any new signings until January 2016. Also, there is concern that alternative options already at the club aren't up to par when it comes to replacing Dani Alves.

Since joining from Sevilla in 2008, Dani Alves has remained the undisputed first-choice at right-back under Pep Guardiola, Tito Vilanova, Tata Martino and Luis Enrique, over the last seven seasons. His defensive surety and his marauding forward runs an important ingredient during a trophy-laden time with the club.

Faced with the prospect of such an important player leaving, options for Barcelona at right-back remain far from convincing, certainly in the eyes of many fans and, perhaps, even manager Luis Enrique, who hasn't exactly shown he's convinced with either Martin Montoya or Douglas, even converting natural left-back Adriano to the right to cover the absence of Dani Alves in certain games this season.

23-year-old Martin Montoya was widely regarded as a very promising prospect when he stepped up from the Barcelona B team, but having failed to gain enough games, with just six appearances in La Liga and three in the Copa del Rey this season, the player has been left to ponder that his future may be best served with a move elsewhere.

As recently as this week, according to various UK outlets including The Express, the patience of Montoya has now run dry, with his agent indicating that his client is now ready to accept offers from England, with clubs such as Liverpool and Arsenal strongly linked.

This leaves just another Brazilian as the remaining existing option to replace Dani Alves, in the shape of 24-year-old Douglas, who like Montoya, has seemingly failed to impress manager Enrique and has also suffered one minor injury niggle after another, leading to just one La Liga outing and three in the Copa del Rey.

The deal to sign Douglas from Sao Paulo certainly raised a few eyebrows in August 2014, when Barcelona secured a deal reported at around €4 million plus €1.5m in variables. Particularly in his home country, Brazilian football experts felt there were better options available, although the Catalan club must surely have seen some potential offered by their signing.

So what are the options now for Barcelona? Unless there's a plan to throw Douglas in at the deep end next season, or somehow convince Montoya to stay, right now there aren't good enough options available from a B team which has struggled in the Segunda this season.

21-year-old Edgar Ié is perhaps the brightest of the up and coming prospects, but he's primarily a centre-back, rather than a right-back. At 23-years-old, Sergio Juste is unlikely to make the grade, whilst 21-year-old Patricio Gabarrón is a convert to right-back and 19-year-old Joan Campins needs much more B team experience.

This means Barcelona must look outside their own immediate sphere of options. For a while they were strongly linked with interest in FC Porto right-back Danilo, over the last twelve months, but any chance of success there seems to have evaporated, with the player reportedly already having accepted an offer from arch-rivals Real Madrid.

Perhaps somewhat sensationally, and according to Spanish outlet Sport, Barcelona have been linked with a move for English right-back Glen Johnson, who is out of contract this summer and seemingly unwanted by Liverpool. At best, signing the 31-year-old might perhaps only be seen as a stop-gap measure, although the Catalan club wouldn't be able to register him until January 2016 and the end of the FIFA transfer ban. Such a move really doesn't make any sense though.

Wherever the new sports directive at Barcelona cast their glances when looking for a replacement for Dani Alves, they will need to ensure their move is for a top quality replacement.

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