Bengaluru, July 17: Brazilian superstar Dani Alves is prepared to take a pay cut to join Premier League side Arsenal but still wants £200k-a-week wages.
The 36-year-old is a free agent after leaving Paris Saint-Germain last month following his contract expiry.
The former Barcelona full-back has been heavily linked with a move to the Premier League with the Gunners, Manchester City and Tottenham all keen on the Brazilian. But reports claim that a move to the Emirates for a reunion with Unai Emery appeals most to the Samba star.
The Cityzens appeared to be the favourites but they are not in the market for a right-back unless Danilo, who has gone on pre-season tour with Pep Guardiola’s squad, asks to leave.
They are unwilling to force him out, and even if he does depart, then Juventus’ Joao Cancelo will become their top target for a replacement ahead of Alves who does not have age on his side. However, Alves’ wage demands could prove a stumbling block to Arsenal getting a deal over the line.
He used to pocket £230k-a-week at PSG before rejecting their offer of a one-year extension last month, instead wanting a two-year deal.
After missing out on Champions League football again, Arsenal have shaved a huge chunk off their wage bill this summer.
The departures of Aaron Ramsey, Petr Cech, Danny Welbeck, Stephan Lichtsteiner and David Ospina have seen them reduce it by a whopping £410,000-per-week. And it seems unlikely they would be willing to stick another huge salary on to it.
But Alves, who spent his first year at PSG playing under Emery and winning the title, has been vocal in his desire to come to England in the past.
He said last year: “The idea that I might finish my career without going to the Premier League, it is not possible.
“For sure, this is the most amazing football in the world. First, because of the respect for the players from the fans, and then because of the passion on the pitch.
“If I can play, that would be perfect, but I will make it there one way or the other.”
Alves shot to stardom as part of Guardiola’s all-conquering Barcelona team after initially impressing at Sevilla. He left the Nou Camp in 2016 for a year in Italy at Juventus before heading to the French capital, going on to play 73 times for the Parisians.
Alves, who has won an incredible 40 trophies throughout his career, is expected to announce his new club within a fortnight. And Gooners will be hopeful that he can strike a deal to be part of Emery’s line up this season.
He said: “Now I’m free, but I still have a lot to accomplish in my career.
“The only thing that I can say is that the club that sign me will sign a true champion.”