BY MUSTAPHA "EL LOCO" KAMARUDDIN
Dani Alves leaving Barcelona in the summer?
Interesting. Perhaps it's high time for the Brazil international rightback to make a move as he is beginning to show staleness in his game with the Catalans.
Alves' fans may not be happy with this speculation but at times one just have to move on for some new adventures. And this is especially so in football.
Playing for a new club may just do the trick for the already 30-year-old Alves, who has done a lot for Barca since joining them from Sevilla in 2008.
Alves has already huge successes with Barca with four La Liga titles, Copa del Rey (two), Spain Super Cup (four), Champions League (two) Uefa Super Cup (two) and Fifa Club World Cup (two).
Many players could only dream of achieving these honours by Alves, who is more known for his attacking ability rather than defensive.
Back to the Alves speculation.
According to Spanish press, a swap deal involving Alves and Fiorentina’s Juan Cuadrado has been mooted.
Mundo Deportivo, for instance, reported Barca are interested in Cuadrado while Fiorentina would like to sign Alves -- with a mutually beneficial swap deal rumoured.
The exciting and versatile Cuadrado moved to Fiorentina from Lecce in 2012, initially on loan, with the move made permanent a year later.
Prior to playing for Lecce, the 25-year-old spent four years at Udinese and began his career at Independiente in Medellin.
And Cuadrado has 26 caps for Colombia and scored three goals, showing his class.
He is poised to be a key player for them at the World Cup in Brazil under coach in Argentine Jose Pekerman.
Cuadrado is one of the highly rated stars in the Serie A.
Cuadrado is a winger but he can also operate as a wingback or fullback along the right flank.
His assets are speed, pace and dribbling ability which already earned him that reputation of being one of the most lethal players in Europe.
It should be interesting how Cuadrado will fare if he actually don Barca colours.
In another development, Barca are due to start making decisions on next season's squad. Fans can expect some changes to the set-up.
And River Plate young defender Eder Alvarez Balanta seems to be already on Barca's radar -- as a 'future' replacement for legend Carles Puyol, who will leave Nou Camp in the summer.
Balanta is being linked with a January move, though.
"As far as I know, there hasn't been a Colombian playing for Barca. I would be the first one in the history of the club," Balanta told Sport.
"If it's true, I would be very proud. If it's not, I will try to keep doing things like I have done up until now," said the 20-year-old, who is dubbed as the new Mario Yepes.
Well...hope to see one or two Colombians plying their trade with Barca in the near future. Should add more colour to the side.
Mustapha 'El Loco' Kamaruddin is an experienced sports journalist who is crazy about football. He has been following football, both at local and international scenes for over two decades. He is also a columnist with The Malay Mail.