Barcelona’s veteran defender Dani Alves has confirmed his departure to Italian football champions Juventus, according to media reports on Friday.
The Brazilian international is a free agent after activating a clause in his Barcelona contract and has reportedly agreed to a two-year deal with the option for a third.
“I will be in Turin within days to sign. I already saluted the Barcelona fans and it’s a see you soon, not a goodbye forever. I am coming to Italy to win and then maybe return (to Barcelona), because I remain a Blaugrana fan,” the 33-year-old was quoted as saying by football-italia.net on Saturday.
Alves won 23 trophies with Barcelona, including three Champions League and six La Liga titles in an eight-year stint at the Catalan club.
He clarified that his move is due to his desire to accept a new challenge in his club career that also had spells with Spanish club Sevilla and hometown side of Bahia in Brazil.
Juventus raced to their fifth consecutive Serie A title this campaign despite the departures of stars Andrea Pirlo, Arturo Vidal and Carlos Tevez -- a trio who’d helped the club to the 2014 Champions League final in Berlin, where they fell to Alves’ Barcelona 1-3.
Massimiliano Allegri’s side boasts some of world football’s brightest young talents in the form of France midfielder Paul Pogba, Argentina forward Paulo Dybala and Brazil winger Alex Sandro. Alves said he is eager to help The Old Lady reach the summit of European football.
This year Juventus fell at the pre-quarterfinals of the Champions League, despite being on the verge of eliminating German giants Bayern Munich.
“I am always happy, but now even more so,” said Alves, who has played 90 times for Brazil.
“The moment had come to change, to give a turning point to my career. I won so much with Barcelona and enjoyed every minute, but the time had come to challenge myself, to enjoy Italy, Juventus and try to bring Juventus to victory in Europe.”