Alves snubs former boss Guardiola to join PSG

LONDON • Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has been hit by news that Dani Alves has signed a two-year deal with Paris Saint-Germain on a free transfer, after he had made the Brazil full-back one of his main targets in the summer window.

In addition, the Spaniard had an agreement in principle with Alves.

The French Ligue 1 runners-up were able to convince the Juventus and former Barcelona defender to join them and are believed to have offered significantly more money.

The development is a significant blow to Guardiola not only because of Alves' ability on the pitch but also because of his leadership off it.

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Alves and Guardiola worked together at Barcelona for four years and the manager knows the positive impact the player can have on his team-mates.

Alves won 23 trophies at Barcelona - including three European Cups and six LaLiga titles. He was one of Guardiola's first signings, arriving from Sevilla in 2008, and recently described his former manager as a "genius".

He joined Juventus last summer after eight years at Barcelona and contributed significantly to the team's progress to the Champions League final, where they lost 1-4 to Real Madrid in Cardiff.

In the 4-1 aggregate semi-final win over Monaco, Alves created three of Juventus' four goals and scored the other.

Guardiola was particularly keen to sign him as City have lost a lot of experience by releasing several players, including three full-backs in Pablo Zabaleta, Gael Clichy and Bacary Sagna.

City will now have to consider whether they will go back to Tottenham to see whether they can reach a deal to acquire Kyle Walker. Spurs, however, are holding out for £50 million (S$88.9 million) for the England full-back.

Guardiola has already added attacking midfielder Bernardo Silva (£43.6 million from Monaco) and goalkeeper Ederson (£34.9 million from Benfica) to his squad.

THE GUARDIAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 13, 2017, with the headline 'Alves snubs former boss Guardiola to join PSG'. Print Edition | Subscribe