Following Barcelona’s 1-1 draw with Atletico Madrid at the Wanda Metropolitano this weekend, the Blaugrana left-back Jordi Alba was asked to comment on the speculation regarding his future. The Spaniard currently has 18 months left on his contract and spoke to reporters after the game, which allowed Sevilla to leapfrog over the incumbent La Liga champions into the top-spot.
Alba was open and forthright, and the news that a new contract isn’t necessarily imminent should put some top clubs in Europe on high alert.
"[There's] no renewal news, it's something which is still there,"
Alba stated, (ESPN).
"I don't know what the club think of me, it's a bit strange because there's not long left [on my contract].
"My intention is to end my career here. Let's see."
"I don't know what the directors' intention is or when they will think it's convenient to call me -- if they think it is,"
Alba has made close to 300 appearances for Barcelona and has won four La Liga titles, four Copa del Reys, and a Champions League trophy. He was part of the illustrious side that achieved the treble in 2014-15; the second time Barcelona had accomplished the feat in six years. He has appeared in the La Liga and Champions League Team of the Season and also thrived for Spain at Euro 2012 which secured his return to Barca from league rivals Valencia .
With more awareness being drawn to the fact that there is a real deadline on his tenure at the club, one extremely viable destination is Manchester City.
Questions regarding current Benjamin Mendy’s reliability - and attitude - as well as the Frenchman enduring his second successive long-term injury in as many years may open up the distinct possibility of Alba moving from Spain to north-west England.
With Mendy now out again for an expected three months, Jordi Alba’s arrival in January could be the missing piece of the jigsaw to complete an exceptional City backline that has conceded the joint-fewest goals in the league this season.
City are of course unafraid to splash the cash, and would expect - with Alba now 29-years-old - to pay a considerable amount more than the €14 million Barca originally paid more than six years ago to bring him back to the Nou Camp.
Alba offers a more more attractive prospect at left-back than Mendy’s current deputies Fabian Delph and Oleksandr Zinchenko, and has the key qualities to thrive under City manager Pep Guardiola; fast attacking with exceptional passing ability, and used to not a dissimilar style of play, with the ability to both complement Kyle Walker on the opposite flank, and behind - presumably - the silky Leroy Sane on the wing. A City side with Alba within it would undoubtedly be even more threatening.
For his part, Alba would no doubt relish finally playing under Pep, with the defender’s return to Barca in 2012 coinciding with Guardiola’s departure.