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The Dani Alves Dilemma

For several months, Dani Alves' contract extension has been a consistent topic of debate. The club, which only has two real choices, needs to make a quick decision soon.

David Ramos/Getty Images

Before you stop reading, hear me out for just a moment. I'm aware that there have been a thousand journalists that have written a thousand and one articles on Dani Álves' current contract conundrum, but very few of them have actually provided a possible solution for Barça's right-back dilemma. So allow me to take you on a little journey toward the best possible outcome for the Catalan club.

To begin with, Dani Álves was an incredible and, at times, indispensable asset to the blaugrana side since he first donned their colors in 2008. He’s a brilliant defender with a true knack for sprinting forward and placing the ball almost millimeter-perfect into the 18-yard box, an ability that Lionel Messi clearly benefited from. Unfortunately, the past couple of seasons have not gone well for the Brazilian. His defending has been lackluster and poorly executed, while his crosses into the danger area have either been over or undershot. In other words, they’ve been useless and it's time to say adéu to the hot-tempered defender.

Barcelona's first, and by far best, option is to allow Álves to quietly (yeah right) make his way out of the club when his contract expires at the end of this season. Think about it: he's 31-years-old, his performances, though better this year than in previous, have been average at best, and he doesn't hold that legendary I'll-stick-around-until-I'm-good-and-ready-to-retire status that players like Xavi, Iniesta, and Messi carry. Frankly, he's a player that, once gone, will not be missed for very long.

However, if Barcelona were to make an offer that benefits the club, it would have to be short term. Ideally, the agreement shouldn’t be for any longer than one year. This arrangement would allow Álves to keep his starting right-back position and, when the January 2016 transfer window opens, the team could slowly introduce any new players (FC Porto’s Danilo is Barça’s main candidate for this position) to the Barcelona way of life. Anything longer than one year would simply be impractical.

Regardless of the club’s decision, they need to be both prudent and a bit selfish. After all, this is FC Barcelona, a team viewed as més que un club. Let us just hope that the suits in the corner office live and bleed this slogan as much as we do.

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