DANI ALVES is set to be axed from Barcelona’s Europa League squad due to strict competition rules.
The defender, 38, re-joined the Spanish giants in December but has had limited opportunities so far, playing primarily in cup competitions.
And Alves will have to settle for domestic minutes moving forward as he is set to be left out of the Europa League squad, according to Spanish publication AS.
That is because Barcelona are only allowed to register three new players, which will be Ferran Torres, Adama Traore and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
The trio all arrived in the recent transfer window and have been preferred by Xavi over Alves.
The Barcelona manager is said to want more attackers in his squad – more options to find a goal in closely fought knock-out matches.
And since Traore can also operate as a right wing-back, Alves was the obvious candidate to sit out.
Xavi can also call upon first-choice right-back Sergino Dest while Oscar Mingueza has also filled in as back-up when needed.
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Barcelona announced the Aubamayeng signing on Wednesday and they will hope he can provide the goals to overcome Napoli in the Europa League Round of 32.
Xavi will have to work out how to play to the striker’s strengths after claiming he would not be a good fit at the Nou Camp two years ago.
The Barca boss must also decide what to do with Ousmane Dembele following his breakdown in contract talks.
The club have made it clear they wish to get rid of the winger but Dembele recently committed himself to the club in a public statement.
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