Man United and Chelsea set to battle for Barcelona star amid contract dispute

Jordi Alba is growing frustrated with a contract stand-off at Barcelona, leaving the Spain defender to eye a summer switch to the Premier League.

The left back, 29, enjoyed a standout season for the Blaugrana in 2017-18, as Ernesto Valverde’s side completed a domestic double.

Alba, who has 60 caps for his country, held off the threat of Lucas Digne once more to continue as a mainstay on the left side of the Catalan side’s defence, starring with eight assists as Barca lost just once in La Liga.

But Alba’s agent, Vicente Fores, has gone on record to criticise the club’s hierarchy, insisting his client has spent 18 months waiting on a contract offer from Camp Nou – and is still waiting.

Fores told Sport: " [When] Raul Sanllehi [now at Arsenal] was still at the club when they told us not to worry, that they were going to call us to renew.

"But we are still waiting. It’s been a year and a half now.

"We don’t understand anything, maybe it’s normal for Barca or maybe they’re not happy with the performances of a player included in FIFA’s XI and who is the defender with the most assists in European football."

Alba’s contract currently has just two years to run.

And that has reportedly alerted both Manchester United and Chelsea. Sport claim the duo are both interested in taking him to England.


Chelsea’s need doesn’t appear as great, given the presence of Marcos Alonso and January signing Emerson, although Alba would likely be seen as an improvement on the pair.

However Jose Mourinho is desperate to upgrade his full-back situation at Old Trafford this summer.

Diego Dalot, the young Porto right-back, is en route from the Portuguese club after United agreed to meet his release clause, with hopes that he will eventually succeed Antonio Valencia.

But it is the left side which has been the biggest source of consternation for Mourinho.

Daley Blind and Matteo Darmian were both used there last term at times but are both set to depart this summer, while Marcos Rojo is preferred at centre-back.

Luke Shaw remains out of favour with the United boss also, which left Ashley Young as first choice for much of the campaign.

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