x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Dani Alves stung by criticism over lapses

Barcelona right-back may be forced to consider moving away from Primera Liga club.

Dani Alves is one of Barcelona's fittest and best-paid players. Jonathan Nackstrand / AFP
Dani Alves is one of Barcelona's fittest and best-paid players. Jonathan Nackstrand / AFP

Dani Alves's long-term future at Barcelona has been brought into question by the club's use of the Brazil international right-back as a scapegoat for their recent defensive insecurities.

Though leading the Spanish league, Barca have struggled to keep clean sheets so far this season and local journalists have been encouraged to identify Alves as a culprit for the problems at the back.

Alves, 29, agreed a contract extension making him one of Barcelona's best-paid players in March last year, yet has remained the subject of interest from overseas clubs.

Usually one of the fittest players at Camp Nou, he has been playing with a problem at the back of his upper left thigh for several weeks and has been unimpressed by criticism of his performances.

Barca are well covered in Alves's position with 21-year-old back-up Martin Montoya regarded by many as the best Spanish right back in the Primera Liga.

Montoya was called up to the senior national team last year and is expected to eventually displace Alvaro Arbeloa, the Real Madrid defender, as first choice.

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