On July 12, French club Paris St. Germain officially announced the signing of veteran right-back Dani Alves. The 34-year-old Brazilian had left Juventus on a free transfer, but it was widely reported that he would be reuniting with former boss Pep Guardiola at Manchester City. Nevertheless, PSG made came in with a last-ditch offer over the weekend, an offer supposedly worth roughly €260,000 per week, or about €29 million for two years [ESPNFC].
Not only did PSG double the wage offer from Manchester City, but it seems Alves had another motive for joining the Parisians. “If Pep Guardiola and Manchester City feel hurt, I am sorry,” Alves said in his first press conference as a PSG player, “…I’ve come here to be a champion.” So not only did PSG out-muscle City on the financial front, but also seemingly on the ability to persuade Alves of potential short-term success. The Dani Alves miss shouldn’t be passed over by City fans; instead, quite the contrary. Missing out on the fullback is evidence that Manchester City is still not a true powerhouse in many players’ minds, but instead just a big club that can offer you extraordinary wages. When those wages are outmatched, the other club is the logical choice.
When Pep Guardiola redefined football during his tenure at Barcelona, Dani Alves was a key component in the squad. Not only was he a solid defender, allowing players like Lionel Messi to roam further forward, but he assisted in virtually every area of the game. A student of Johan Cruijff, Guardiola pushes his players to play a modern version of Total Voetbal: every player contributes in as many phases of play as possible, covering for teammates who track forward to press the opposition. Alves is perfectly built for this; the Brazilian is a great attacking presence, is comfortable drifting inside to assist with controlling the midfield, and is physical enough to last for 90 minutes of constant pressing and running. He’d be the perfect player for Pep’s Manchester revolution, but he didn’t see it quite like that.
If the rumors are true, it is possible that potential signing Kyle Walker would have still been brought in if Alves signed. This likely would have forced Dani Alves to the bench in most games, only appearing in specific matches or as a super-substitute. Right off the bat, that surely put him and his representatives on edge during negotiations. But at 34-years-old, with a contract signing him for two more years, Alves surely wouldn’t expect to be offered a full-fledged key player role at a world-class club, right? Maybe winning Ligue 1 a couple times before retiring is what Dani Alves envisioned as the right move, but if he truly wants to “be a champion”, then City would be the logical choice in terms of potential Champions League success.Embed from Getty Images
Manchester City need to prove that it not only has the spending power of the world’s best, but also that it can compete against the world’s best. Making the Champions League semi-final in 2016 was a positive, but bowing out earlier against Monaco certainly looked like somewhat of a regression. City not only needs to start winning the Premier League more consistently, but also needs to show an ability to constantly compete for a Champions League title. If that doesn’t happen, players like Dani Alves will reject the club in favor of others.
What do you think? Did Dani Alves reject City for PSG solely because of wages and playing time, or did the image of City play a role as well? Let us know.
Featured image provided by PSG’s official website, en.psg.fr.