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.”