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Sao Paulo confirm termination of Dani Alves' contract

Matt O'Connor-Simpson
Alves walked out over unpaid image rights
Alves walked out over unpaid image rights / Pool/Getty Images

Sao Paulo have confirmed they have reached an agreement over the termination of Dani Alves' contract, following a dispute over unpaid image rights.

The situation first came to light back in March, when it emerged that the Brazilian club owed the defender £2m - or ten months of his salary. Over the following weeks Sao Paulo maintained that they would be able to find the funds, but after they failed to do so Alves walked out on the club earlier this month.

Following this, 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."

However, some uncertainty over the exact terms of his departure remained, before Sao Paulo released a further statement clarifying and confirming his exit.

"Sao Paulo Futebol Clube announces that an agreement was signed today for the termination of player Daniel Alves, who had a relationship with the club until December 2022," it read.

It is a sad end to Alves' time at the club. A boyhood Sao Paulo fan, he finally got his dream move in 2019 and was welcomed by a capacity crowd upon his arrival. He produced on the pitch too, impressing in an unfamiliar midfield role that then saw him handed the captaincy for Brazil's 2020 Olympics campaign - where he led the Selecao to gold.

Attention will now turn to where Alves might ply his trade next. The Brazilian Serie A season is already well underway and a move to one of Sao Paulo's rivals is likely. He could also return to Europe, with his recent displays for his country suggesting that he can still compete at the highest level.