The veteran Brazilian has left the Serie A outfit, in the latest twist in a long saga between the two parties
Sao Paulo say they have released Dani Alves after the defender refused to play for the club amid a dispute over his pay package.
The veteran Brazilian, who returned in 2019 to play in his home country after a fruitful decade of a half-and-a-half year in Europe, parted ways with the Serie A outfit.
This is the latest twist in a long saga between club and player, one that was strengthened after the right-back’s gold medal win over Selecao at the Olympics last month.
Sao Paulo confirmed the news in a press conference on Friday, three days before their first match back from the international break in September.
Football director Carlos Belmonte has revealed that Alves refused to return to training after serving in Brazil, in a move that eventually forced the club’s hand.
“His representatives told us that Daniel Alves will not return to Sao Paulo until the financial debt that Sao Paulo has with the player is adjusted,” Belmonte said.
“Sao Paulo admit the guilt and last week we made a proposal to rectify it. The proposal was not accepted by the players’ representatives. Negotiations will continue.
“We made the decision and told coach Hernan Crespo that Dani Alves would no longer be available to play for Sao Paulo.
“We all work for this institution. No one is bigger than the Sao Paulo Football Club.”
What is the dispute?
The 38-year-old’s management has claimed that he owes a significant amount – R $ 10 million (£ 1.37 million / £ 1.9 million) – to his image rights, which date from his arrival two years ago.
Previous statements made in the run-up to Alves’ Olympic gold – and a sharp criticism from the player after his triumph – indicate his frustration over the club’s failure.
Sao Paulo then claimed that they had repaid the debt in full, although they conceded that the player had been paid late.
Alves’ hopes for the World Cup have been hit hard
Because he has not played for Brazil since 2019, it seemed as if the former defender of Barcelona, Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain’s international career could be over.
But his excellent form in Tokyo, as one of a handful of older players in Brazil, earns him praise and a way back into the setup of Tite, who comes off the bench against Peru.
Without a club, however, he faces a race to find a new team – and to keep his dream alive to secure a place in the team for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.