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.

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.


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