Dani Alves has asked to leave Juventus, the Italian champions’ chief Giuseppe Marotta said on Wednesday, as reports gather pace that the Brazilian is set to reunite with former coach Pep Guardiola at Manchester City.
Alves, 34, had a spectacular impact in his only campaign in Serie A after eight trophy-laden seasons at Barcelona, helping the Italian team to a league and cup double and playing a crucial role in driving them to the Champions League final, where they lost 4-1 to Real Madrid.
The flamboyant Brazilian’s relationship with the club began to deteriorate after the defeat in Cardiff, however, and his recent behaviour has angered supporters.
Last week Alves said in an interview with Brazilian TV that Juventus forward Paolo Dybala needs to leave the Serie A giants one day in order to improve as a player.
On Monday he further baffled fans by posting a picture of his boots from Barcelona’s 3-1 win over Juve in the 2015 Champions League final on his Instagram account, and Marotta revealed Alves had asked for a way out of his two-year contract with the club.
“Dani Alves has decided that he wants to change his surroundings, so we will come to a mutual agreement and we wish him luck,” Marotta told reporters on Wednesday, quoted in daily Gazzetta dello Sport.
“There has been no break-up with Dani, but motivation is fundamental for any footballer.”
British media have reported that the Brazil international is on the verge of agreeing a two-year deal with City, as part of Guardiola’s attempts to rebuild his side for his second season in England by bolstering their options at full back.
Guardiola signed Alves for Barcelona from Sevilla in 2008 before his first season in charge of the Catalans and the pair won three Liga titles, two Champions Leagues and two King’s Cups together.
With his explosive bursts forward down the right, often resembling a right winger more than a full back, Alves was one of Guardiola’s most important players, developing a particularly fruitful relationship with Lionel Messi, providing more assists for the Argentine than any other player.