Barcelona have reportedly drawn up a list of replacements for Dani Alves as the right-back prepares to announce his exit on Monday.
The 32-year-old is expected to confirm his departure at a Press conference imminently after belated contract negotiations ended in failure, with La Blaugrana’s offer of a two-year extension swiftly rejected.
President Josep Maria Bartomeu admitted in the wake of Barca’s La Liga presentation on Saturday that he did not know Alves’ intentions, leaving the side to ponder over their right-sided options for next season.
The Catalans cannot sign any players until January 2016, in line with the terms of their FIFA-imposed transfer ban, and Martin Montoya and Douglas Pereira have both struggled in Alves’ absence.
Consequently, Marca claims Barca have instructed their technical committee of Ariedo Braida, Carles Rexach, Javier Bordas and Jordi Mestre to begin looking for right-sided reinforcements.
Their two primary targets are Torino’s Matteo Darmian, who has established himself as a full Italy international this season, and Sevilla’s Aleix Vidal.
Vidal started his career as a right winger but has frequently played at right-back under Unai Emery, the Coach who transformed Jordi Alba into a left-sided defender at Valencia.
Arsenal’s Hector Bellerin, a former Barca youngster, is also on their list of targets, albeit an unlikely one, while Bayern Munich’s Mitchell Weiser is considered a last resort.