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Dani Alves is not coming to the Sounders

While it’s always nice to be mentioned, there’s no reason to think the Sounders actually put in an offer for the legendary Brazilian.

FC Barcelona v A-League All Stars Photo by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images

Even at 39 years old, Dani Alves continues to be a very good right back. While at least several years removed from being the player who established himself as the archetype of the modern fullback, the Brazilian was still good enough to be a regular starter at Barcelona last year. Alves can still get forward and positively affect the game offensively without being a total liability on defense. As recently as last month, Alves was still getting Brazilian caps and he made four appearances during the most recent World Cup qualifying cycle.

His name carries enough weight that it merits some follow-up when he gets connected to the Seattle Sounders as a potential transfer target, as happened over the weekend.

Based on later reporting, it sounds like Alves is close to coming to terms with Pumas UNAM, the team the Sounders beat in the Concacaf Champions League final.

For better or worse, however, I’m told there’s “zero chance” the Sounders were seriously involved in negotiations for Alves.

While kinda flattering to be mentioned among Alves’ potential suitors, I don’t think the Sounders ever made much sense as a landing spot anyway. For one, right back is a position where the Sounders are reasonably set. Alex Roldan is one of the better two-way right backs in MLS and established himself as a captain for El Salvador. He’s still just 25, re-signed a long-term contract over the offseason and is probably the Sounders’ starting right back for years to come. Whether or not Alves is an upgrade, right back is simply not the position the Sounders are most likely to use whatever salary-cap flexibility they currently have.

Although he reportedly accepted the lowest possible wage to play for Barcelona last season — roughly $175,000 a year — that was pretty obviously an exception he was making to play for former teammate Xavi at the club where they both established themselves as stars. It’s hard to imagine Alves coming to MLS and the Sounders — a league and team where he has not obvious connections — to play on similar wages, and it would make little sense for the Sounders to blow up future accounting to bring him in on a short-term deal.

This is probably not the last of this kind of rumor we’ll see. One of the side effects of winning the continental title is that the Sounders will make for a good foil in other teams’ negotiations. That mostly speaks well of their increased relevancy, but I suspect it will also lead to somewhat outlandish rumors like this one.

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