Sao Paulo have confirmed that legendary Brazil right-back Dani Alves has left the club after a six-month long stand-off over unpaid image rights.
Back in March, it emerged that the Brazilian side owed Alves nearly £2m – over ten months of his salary – but Sao Paulo were always adamant that they would find a way to pay up without needing to escalate matters.
Unfortunately, they haven’t managed to do that, and Alves has grown so fed up of the situation that he has walked away following the international break – instead telling Sao Paulo that he will not play for them again until they pay their debts.
In a statement released on Twitter, the Brazilian side confirmed that they simply could not pay Alves, and as a result, the 38-year-old will no longer be part of the squad.
Director Carlos Belmonte said: “Daniel Alves and Miranda were serving the Brazilian team and should have returned to start regular training for out next games [on Friday]. Miranda attended and trained normally, but Daniel Alves did not attend.
“We were then informed by his representatives that Daniel Alves will not return to Sao Paulo until the settlement of the debt that Sao Paulo has with the athlete. A debt that Sao Paulo recognises and last week made a proposal seeking the right outcome, which was not accepted by the representatives.
“From our point of view, we have taken the decision that Daniel Alves will no longer be available to play for Sao Paulo. Sao Paulo is more important than all of us.”
According to Globo, Alves was actually seeking more than the £2m owed to him, but Sao Paulo refused to meet his demands and have instead parted way.
All eyes will now be on what Alves chooses to do next. He remains part of the Brazilian national team and is keen to secure a spot in the squad for the 2022 World Cup, so will need to find a new team pretty quickly.
A move overseas is seen as the likeliest option for Alves, who could even return to Europe, where he was last seen on the books at Paris Saint-Germain in 2019.