Days removed from his stand against racism, Barcelona defender Dani Alves could be on the move.
After a fan threw a banana on the pitch during the Catalans 3-2 victory over Villareal last weekend, the 30-year-old Brazilian plucked the fruit from the grass and ate it just before his corner kick.
Alves received overwhelming support for his defiant actions against racism, including applause from the Catalans, but that doesn’t mean Alves will play at Camp Nou next term.
According to L’Equipe, Ligue 1 titans Paris Saint-Germain are trying to acquire Alves this summer. Alves evidentially confirmed the switch in a second report Thursday.
PSG are hoping Alves fills out their burgeoning back line, while Barcelona could ask for Alves’s full market value of £16 million since he’s signed through next season and market for center backs is seen as very thin this summer.
In six years, Alves has made 185 appearances and scored 14 goals at Camp Nou, but his departure is one of several moves Barcelona is expected to make in a defensive youth movement this summer.
Alves was part of a long Barcelona run along with Carles Puyol, Javier Mascherano and Adriano, but significant changes are required for the Catalans to return to the top of La Liga.
Another legitimate, but albeit expensive, option is Athletic Bilbao center back Aymeric Laporte. Talk Sport reported that the Catalans could pay Laporte’s £29.5 million release clause and beat out Arsenal and Bayern Munich in the process.
The French national Laporte earned a permanent spot on Bilbao’s defense this season, earning 33 total appearances and two goals. He’s widely considered as one of the premier young backs in the world, and he could be steal for Barcelona should they complete the move.
An equally pricey switch involves Chelsea defensive midfielder Ramires, with Daily Mirror reporting Barcelona could make a shock move for the 27-year-old.
Evidently praising his “energy and work-rate,” Ramires is likely to displace Cesc Fabregas and his fee may reach as high as £26.5 million. In 2010, Chelsea forked over £20 million to Benfica for Ramires and he’s certainly been worth his fee.
Also an owner of 41 caps for Brazil, Ramires has made 124 appearances and scored 13 goals for the Blues including a goal against Barcelona in the Champions League semifinals two years ago.