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Dani Alves says he'll leave Barcelona during transfer ban

Manuel Queimadelos Alonso

There were rumors throughout the summer that Barcelona would cash in on Dani Alves this summer and buy a young star to replace him while they were still allowed to make transfers. Alves stuck around, but he won't be signing a new contract. He told O Globo that he plans to play in the Premier League next season.

Alves, who is 31 and will turn 32 before the end of this season, is in the final year of his very lucrative contract with the Blaugrana. They are banned from making transfers during the next two windows, so they can't sell Alves, nor will they be able to buy a replacement. They brought in Douglas from Sao Paulo as insurance late this summer, and it looks like he could be thrust into a key role next season.

For at least one year, Barcelona will need the pair of Douglas and academy product Martin Montoya to hold down the right back spot. They're both solid players, but there should be a significant drop-off from Alves to either of them.

Barcelona will also have to hope their young players in midfield grow up significantly in the next year. This is likely to be club legend Xavi's final season at Camp Nou, and they'll be unable to buy a replacement for him as well.