Monday, June 30, 2008

Alves switches to Barca

Reports in Spain announced that Alves had agreed a move to Barca in a 29.5million euro deal in early June, but until now neither the Catalan club nor Sevilla have made an official statement on the transfer.

On Saturday Del Nido confirmed the deal was close to completion and that Alves would be leaving Seville on July 1.

"If everything goes well he will say goodbye to the fans on Tuesday," he told Spanish newspaper AS.

"The deal is virtually closed. There are just a few details being finalised."

Alves has played a key role in Sevilla's improvement in domestic and European competition over the past three seasons, and his departure has been seen by some as marking the beginning of the end of the club's success.

However, Del Nido has been quick to bring in replacements for the Brazilian right-back, with Abdoulay Konko and Romaric arriving in the last week.

And the Sevilla president is in no doubt that despite the loss of Alves, his squad is capable of matching the feats of back-to-back UEFA Cup titles and Champions League qualification.

"Konko is better than Daniel Alves," he declared when asked about the new signings.

"Sevilla continue to plan the squad with their chequebook, and we'll have a squad which is more than capable of competing for the goals we have set ourselves."

Del Nido also assured fans the Alves transfer would not start a trend of the club selling their best players, and insisted despite interest from other clubs no other players would be leaving.

"There has been interest from other clubs in 10 or 12 Sevilla players," Del Nido revealed.

"Diego Capel and Adriano are just two examples. The good thing is that we are in a position which allows us to say no to these offers."

On Valencia target and Sevilla first-choice goalkeeper Andres Palop, Del Nido added: "For Andres to leave all three parties would have to be happy.

"Andres is indebted to Sevilla and vice versa. It's not a question of money."

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