‘Alves future not in my hands’

Luis Enrique has spoken of his admiration for Dani Alves but admits the Barcelona right-back’s future is not in his hands.

The defender is out of contract at the end of the season and has still not been offered a renewal by the Catalans, but despite the Coach making clear his wish to keep the 31-year-old, he concedes the club will make the final decision on the player.

“I’ve spoken many times about this topic [Dani Alves’ future]. You just need to see our line-ups to see the specific weight in the squad,” he said at the Press conference ahead of Barca’s trip to Eibar in La Liga on Saturday.

“He’s an honest professional, a different and special player. From there, it’s the club who must reach an agreement with him.

“We’ll try to do the same in attack and defence without [Alves and Jordi Alba, both of whom are suspended].

 “We’re talking about a world-class player [regarding Ivan Rakitic possibly playing defensive midfield].

“Each [of Barca’s midfielders] have their own merits, but they can all spread the ball out, press and perform defensive work.

“Not having [Sergio] Busquets is always a blow, but I think we have enough cover in the squad. There are infinite possibilities.

“I don’t think it’s right time to comment [on Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti]. You can recall my opinion of Ancelotti from months ago, but I have nothing to say about [talk of a crisis at Madrid].

“It doesn’t matter where you put a player like Leo Messi. Even at full-back he’d be unstoppable. There’s no secret with him, the secret is inside of him. He’s the best [player] in the world.

“[On Xavi preparing to make his 750th Barca appearance], what numbers!

“I encourage him to stay with us for another year. He has one year left on his contract, but he holds an undeniable weight [at this club]. I hope he can play more games.

“[Ariedo] Braida and [Carles] Rexach? I’m not working on anything which has nothing to do with the match against Eibar.”

Tags Ariedo Braida Carles Rexach Carlo Ancelotti Dani Alves Ivan Rakitic Lionel Messi Luis Enrique Sergio Busquets