Van Gaal Adds Alves to List

Published: 27th May 2015 08:01 AM  |   Last Updated: 27th May 2015 08:01 AM   |  A+A-

Manchester United have placed Dani Alves on their short-list of potential defensive recruits this summer, but the club will turn to the Barcelona full-back only if they fail to land their priority targets.

Alves, who was 32 this month, is out of contract at the Nou Camp this summer and is embroiled in a public stand-off with the Champions League finalists over his future.

The Brazilian had been expected to leave Barcelona at the end of the season, but with the Spanish champions barred from signing players due to a Fifa-imposed transfer embargo, efforts have been made to hand Alves a contract extension.

However, the former Sevilla right-back, who has been linked with Paris St-Germain, admitted this week that he had been left unimpressed by -Barcelona's attempts to keep him and United have been made aware of the player's desire to move to the Premier League. "From 7 June, I'll announce my future," Alves said. "My intention was not to speak, but I haven't been respected with a lot of silly things.

"It's gone too far. I don't want anybody to influence my decisions. My future only depends on me. I may have two feet in the team [Barcelona], but I've also got one foot, my body and nearly my head out of the club.

"I would like to stay here but not at any price. Not only in terms of money but in terms of respect. They haven't given me the value I deserve."

While Louis van Gaal, the United manager, has identified the signing of a new right-back as a key element of this summer's transfer strategy, the club are pursuing other targets.

Interest in Southampton defender Nathaniel Clyne has cooled in recent weeks, but United are understood to retain an interest in Schalke's versatile defender Benedikt Howedes. Borussia Dortmund centre-half Mats Hummels remains the top target, though, despite the German club's insistence last week that they expect the 26-year-old to stay. United are not pursuing Valencia defender Nicolas Otamendi, contrary to reports in Spain linking the Argentine with a move to Old Trafford.

Antonio Valencia, who replaced Rafael da Silva at right-back this season, is expected to miss Ecuador's Copa America campaign next month after undergoing surgery to remove metal screws from his left ankle. The 29-year-old is facing at least two weeks of rehabilitation following the surgery on Monday, which was arranged to remove the pins inserted into his ankle in the wake of a serious injury sustained during the Champions League clash with Rangers in September 2010.

A picture of Valencia recovering in hospital was posted on the player's Instagram account and officials in Ecuador, who were only made aware of the surgery following United's final game of the season against Hull City on Sunday, now fear that the former Wigan midfielder will miss the Copa America, which kicks off with their clash against hosts Chile on June 11.

United winger Angel di Maria, who limped out of the Hull game with a minor hamstring injury, is expected to be fit to link up with the Argentina squad at the end of this week. But Valencia's operation will ensure the player is fit to start pre-season training at United at the beginning of July, ahead of the four game pre-season tour of the United States.

Adnan Januzaj expects to participate in the summer tour after expressing his desire to fight for his place at United. The Belgian winger made just 21 appearances in all competitions for United this season and Everton lead the race to sign him on loan.

Van Gaal is keen to retain Januzaj, 20. "I want to play in the first team and get more games," Januzaj said. "I've not had a lot of games this season and it's been quite a difficult season for me, but I still have many years to come. Sometimes you need to be patient, but when you've got the chance, you need to try and take it."

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