Dani Alves is reportedly close to rescinding his contract with Juventus ahead of a move to the Premier League – which is simply brilliant news for fantasy football fans.
Manchester City are favourites to snap up the veteran right-back on a free transfer, with title holders Chelsea also in the mix.
Whichever club gets him will be signing one of the world’s best attacking fullbacks, who can still perform at the very highest level.
Dream Team 2017/18
The 34-year-old will come to England on the back of a fine season at Juventus, a year after he was deemed surplus to requirements at Barcelona.
The Brazilian helped the Italian giants to their sixth consecutive Serie A title, and produced a number of eye-catching performances in the Champions League as Juve reached the final of the competition.
Alves provided more chances than any other defender in the Champions League last season, with his performance over both legs of semi-final against Monaco particularly satisfying.
With City boss Pep Guardiola clearing out the majority of the club’s fullbacks, the 46-year-old is keen to crack on with signing replacements.
City have been linked with Benjamin Mendy and Kyle Walker so far this summer, but have yet to sign anyone to replace the outgoing Bacary Sagna, Gael Clichy and Pablo Zabaleta.
While Alves would only be a short-term option, he would certainly be an upgrade.
What could this mean for your fantasy football team?
Just name it, and Alves has won it at club level.
The Brazilian was a mainstay of the Barcelona side that’s widely considered one of the greatest in the history of the sport.
Coached under current City manager Guardiola, Alves became one of football’s quintessential attacking fullbacks.
And if he does join City, he will certainly go a long way to helping Guardiola secure the Premier League title in his second season in charge of the club.
But do the stats back him up?
WhoScored, Dream Team’s ratings providers, gave Alves an impressive overall rating of 7.46 last season, with a Champions League rating of 7.75.
To give that some context, Alves was rated higher than the competitions other top fullbacks Marcelo (7.45) and Mendy (7.52).
Meanwhile, in the Premier League, the highest rated fullbacks and wing-backs last season were Victor Moses (7.45) and Marcos Alonso (7.39), while City’s Clichy managed 7.09.
Alves is likely to be an extremely popular choice on Dream Team next season, with City set to be extremely competitive in both the Premier League and in Europe.
Guardiola has already won the transfer market this summer by signing exciting midfielder Bernardo Silva along with goalkeeper Ederson.
Given the initial values of Nathaniel Clyne (4.5m) and Danny Rose (£4.0m) last season, we reckon he’ll be priced in the same region in the 2017/18 game.
When can I sign up to Dream Team?
You can start getting your teams in as early as July 3 2017 – some six weeks before the Premier League season gets underway.
That gives you an awfully long time to monitor the transfer market and choose your team accordingly, with City’s new signings likely to be hot on the agenda for Dream Team managers.
The closing date for the season game, therefore, will be the first day of the Premier League campaign on August 12 2017.