Reports suggesting Dani Alves could leave Barcelona in 2015 have been confirmed by the club's sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta, while it's also been revealed the Blaugrana launched a late summer bid for Mateo Kovacic.
Zubizarreta was quoted by Barca's official Twitter account speaking positively of the decision to keep Alves for the last year of his contract, but he did confirm that this season will be the Brazilian's last at the Camp Nou:
Zubizarreta: "We are very happy that Dani Alves has stayed here. Both sides have agreed that his contract will finish in 2015" #FCBlive— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) September 2, 2014
Zubizarreta: "We are where we want to be and with the squad we wanted in order to be competitive again" #FCBlive— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) September 2, 2014
BBC Sport announced last week that a long-anticipated deal had finally been completed to sign right-back Douglas from Sao Paulo, the man who's expected to take his countryman's mantle when he eventually does depart.
Considering the reputation Alves has previously held as one of the most revered attacking full-backs in Europe, it seems a somewhat underwhelming way for his days at the Camp Nou to end.
The Brazilian international was signed from Sevilla in 2008 for a fee of around £23 million, since going on to feature prominently in four La Liga title triumphs, two Copa del Rey trophies and two Champions League successes.
Samuel Marsden of Spanish publication SPORT supposes the club will feel the impact of the veteran's exit:
re: Alves definitely leaving next summer... Barça will desperately need one of Montoya or Douglas to step up.— Samuel Marsden (@samuelmarsden) September 2, 2014
At 31 years of age, Alves is certainly coming away from his prime years, and Ben McAleer of WhoScored.com provides some evidence of his decline:
Dani Alves has attempted the most crosses from open play (20) in La Liga this season, but has found a teammate with just 4 of them.— Ben McAleer (@BenMcAleer1) September 2, 2014
In terms of inbound talent, Gianluca Di Marzio has revealed that Luis Enrique attempted to add Inter's Kovacic to his squad on deadline day, but saw his side's advances rejected.
Tancredi Palmeri of beIN Sports writes that the offer was worth €20 million (£15.8 million), but the Nerazzurri are looking to break back into the Serie A hierarchy, thus striving to retain every bright talent under their command:
Just got to know the figures offered by Barcelona for Kovacic: 20m€. Inter rejected— Tancredi Palmeri (@tancredipalmeri) September 1, 2014
Kovacic has gone from strength to strength since joining the Inter cause from Dinamo Zagreb 18 months ago. Di Marzio claims the rejection is "a clear signal that indicates that Kovacic is the present and the future of Inter."
Still just 20 years of age, the Croatian would fit Barca's profile of acquiring younger talents.
Youngster Munir El Haddadi and Rafinha are showing early signs of great promise under Enrique this season, but it appears Enrique was keen to further boost his creative ranks until the 11th hour.
Barca will persevere with the options they have for now, and pending an appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport, will be prevented from conducting any transfer business in 2015.