Barcelona confirm return of Dani Alves as first signing under new boss Xavi

The Brazilian international returns to Spain after a five-year absence

Karl Matchett
Friday 12 November 2021 20:39

Barcelona have confirmed an “agreement in principle” for the return of Dani Alves, who will become the first signing since Xavi Hernandez was appointed as the new first-team head coach.

Alves, now 38 years old, played just short of 400 games for the Catalan outfit during his first spell between 2008 and 2016, winning six LaLiga titles and three Champions League finals in that time as a team-mate of Xavi - who left the Camp Nou a year before the right-back did.

Spanish press report that Alves had offered his services to Barcelona recently, but it was Xavi’s appointment and his desire to bring the veteran back which saw the operation progress quickly. When Xavi departed in 2015 for Qatar, it was Alves who took over his No6 shirt at Barcelona - after asking the midfielder’s permission to wear it.

Barcelona confirmed that the Brazilian, who has won 119 senior caps and led the U23s to glory as captain at the 2020 Olympics in the summer, will join immediately until the end of the current season, though he will not be eligible to play until January.

The club’s current options at full-back are Dutch youngster Serginio Dest, La Masia graduate Oscar Mingueza and the versatile senior option Sergi Roberto.

They are ninth in the table after 12 matches ahead of Xavi’s first game in charge, which will come against Espanyol in the local derby after the international break.

Since leaving the club five-and-a-half years ago, Alves has been at Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain and Sao Paulo.

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