Joan Laporta may have made his first major move as president in appointing Xavi Hernandez as coach, but the former Al Sadd boss is now set to make his own statement signing after he gave the green light to Barcelona’s pursuit of Dani Alves.
Rumours had been spread in recent days that the former Sevilla right-back would be open to rejoining the Catalan giants, the club where he enjoyed his greatest successes, but it would depend on the will of Xavi.
The Blaugrana are living under difficult financial restrictions and Laporta didn’t want to force players upon his new coach, instead giving him the greatest chance to succeed by allowing him to make decisions.
Alves is now one step away from signing for Los Cules, with only an agreement on financial terms missing at this stage.
Dani Alves to rejoin Barcelona
He will become the first signing of the Xavi era, which is somewhat ironic as he was one of the very first to arrive in the Pep Guardiola era too.
Xavi has identified the leadership that the Brazilian can bring, as well as solving an issue of depth at right-back, with the Catalan coach seeing Sergi Roberto as a midfielder and Oscar Mingueza as a central defender, with both of whom having been forced to act as utility players in the role during Sergino Dest’s absence.
At 38 years old, it’s obvious that Alves won’t be able to play every game, and this is even more of an issue when you consider the fact he hasn’t played football since September when he cancelled his contract with Sao Paulo.
In addition to his trophy-winning experience at the Camp Nou, the former Brazilian international has also played at a high level across the globe.
Alves’ time at Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain was well received, whilst his return to South America with Sao Paulo merely added another string to his bow.