Dani Alves-Guardiola reunion would help Manchester City move forward

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The Brazilian full-back is not a guaranteed starter at Juventus and could be tempted to the Premier League for a link-up with his former Barca boss


If there is one full-back who best sums up Pep Guardiola's coaching career so far, it is Dani Alves. While the Manchester City boss moved Philipp Lahm into midfield at Bayern Munich and called the former Germany captain "the most intelligent player I have worked with", the Brazilian's brilliance on the right was a key feature for Barcelona in the Catalan's four seasons in charge at Camp Nou. 

Dani Alves: Juventus can win the Champions League

So, how about a reunion? It is well known that Guardiola is unhappy with his options in the full-back positions at the Etihad and, on the right side of his defence, he has Pablo Zabaleta and Bacary Sagny, both fine footballers in their day but now well past their best. An upgrade is definitely needed, with Pep keen to bring in not only more leaders but also players who can adapt to his complex tactical instructions.

Alves fits the bill in both departments. The Juventus defender may be approaching the twilight of his career, but he is an undoubted winner with 31 career titles to his name, including two trebles at Barcelona, six Liga trophies and three Club World Cups.

Dani Alves Pep Guardiola

Since his surprise move to Juventus in the summer, he has been missed at Camp Nou and even though Sergi Roberto made a solid start at right-back, the midfielder has been found out at the highest level of late, prompting Luis Enrique to switch to a 3-4-3 formation.

At Juventus, he has failed to hold down a starting spot in competition with Stephan Lichtsteiner and has sometimes featured in midfield under Massimiliano Allegri - as he did at last Friday in a 2-1 win at home to AC Milan.

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However, he was also hampered by a broken leg suffered in a 3-1 defeat against Genoa back in November, which left him sidelined for more than two months. He has done well since, though, and came off the bench to score Juve's second goal in the last-16 first leg game against Porto on February 22.

"I'm a winner and so is Juventus," Alves said last month. "I'm happy here and I have new and exciting challenges ahead with this great club."

Dani Alves Juventus Stats PS

In Spain, meanwhile, it was reported that Alves had offered to move back to Barca to solve the club's problems at right-back, but that the Catalans had rejected his advances. However, his agent and ex-wife Dinorah Santa Ana told Goal on Monday that those claims were completely false.

Nevertheless, Juventus will be in the market for a new right-back in the summer, with AC Milan's Mattia De Sciglio topping their list, and Alves may, thus, fancy joining his former coach Guardiola at City.

Zabaleta has been an excellent servant to the Premier League club, but the Argentine has slowed down considerably in recent seasons and Sagna is also a shadow of the player once called "the best right-back in the Premier League" by his former boss at Arsenal, Arsene Wenger.

January transfers Pablo Zabaleta

Bacary Sagna Manchester City

Alves has lost a little pace over the past few years as well and he will be 34 in May, but the Brazilian remains an excellent player with superb technique and passing who is able to get up and down the pitch and slot into a number of different positions as well.

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At Barca, Pep called him "the best right-back in the world" and while that may not be the case anymore, the 33-year-old is definitely an upgrade on what City have at the moment and he is already accustomed to the Catalan's complex style of play.

So, with a dearth of top-quality full-backs around these days, a new link-up for Alves and Pep at City would make much sense on many levels - even if it is only for one or two seasons.