Is Dani Alves milking Barcelona's transfer embargo situation?
Dani Alves has recently lashed out at his club FC Barcelona for being disrespectful and not offering a deal that he deserves. The Brazilian right back talked to the press about being disrespected by the club where he gave his all. He had this to say in a press conference that took place on Monday:
“I may have two feet in the team but I’ve also got one foot, my body and nearly my head out of the club. I would like to stay here but not at any price. Not only in terms of money but in terms of respect. If I’m not show(n) that respect, I’ll go to another club.
“I won’t accept that they underestimate what I have given to this club. They haven’t given me the value I deserve.”
This outburst was in reaction to the latest deal he had been offered by the club, a three-year deal which was also said to be the final offer. Alves clearly feels that this deal does not do justice to his ability as a player and severely undermines his value. A deeper look at things, however, indicate that Alves may be simply trying to make the most out of Barcelona’s transfer ban handicap.
Last December, Barcelona were handed a transfer ban which prevented them from signing players till January 2016. This meant that the club could not bring in new players to fill in the Brazilian’s position at right back. The other choices for that position in the club are not exactly strong.
Martin Montoya has been starved of playing time this season and seems out of favour with coach Luis Enrique. Douglas is not yet ready to play at such a high level. Alves is well aware of the lack of options and this puts him in a prime position of power.
Stats courtesy of Whoscored.com
Alves holding Barcelona to ransom
The course of events leading up to his statement more or less support the argument that he is trying to take advantage of his club’s vulnerable situation. He was initially offered only a one-year deal, but he was not too pleased with it and demanded an increase in the length of the contract. The latest offer was a result of that which included a three-year contract.
The deal was pretty much close to what he had bargained for in the beginning. Even then the Brazilian international has come out and voiced his displeasure at the offer when he had no reason to do so. This strongly suggests that Alves is trying to force the club’s hand into giving him what he wants.
The timing of his statement was also not the best. Barca is aiming for a potential treble with the Copa del Rey and the Champions League final coming up in the next couple of weeks. Issuing such a statement before important games is definitely not in the team’s best interests. Alves could have voiced his opinion behind closed doors and not jeopardize the harmony within the team. It provides a strong impression that he is trying to hold the club to ransom.
Barcelona have now left themselves in a position to be bullied by Alves and it looks like the 32-year-old is indeed keen on doing that. The Brazilian is still one of the best right backs in the game and remains a vital part of the club. 10 assists in 43 starts this season very much bears testimony to this fact (per WhoScored).
The club would do well to keep him, but the transfer ban means that they have little bargaining power and it would not be surprising if they ultimately cave in to his demands.