Veteran defender Dani Alves has denied speculation that he could leave Sao Paulo to join their Brazilian Serie A rivals Flamengo.
Alves is just 12 months into a three-and-a half-year deal with the Tricolor but local media has reported that he could be offloaded to the Rio de Janeiro giants due to his club’s financial constraints.
“I want to make one thing clear so that there is never this debate again: The only club that I will play for in Brazil is Sao Paulo,” the 37-year-old said during a virtual news conference on Tuesday, reports Xinhua news agency.
“If you hear anything else from another club, it’s a lie. Let it be clear: my only club is Sao Paulo. It’s my childhood dream (to play here). I’m not here for money.”
Alves also backed embattled head coach Fernando Diniz, whose job has been questioned following the team’s defeat to minnows Mirassol in the quarterfinals of the Sao Paulo state championship last week.
“I’m not just defending him because we have a special relationship and have the same personal values,” Alves said. “We also believe in what we are doing and what we can deliver.
“Implementing (new ideas) in a club as great as Sao Paulo, which has achieved so much, is much more difficult than you think. We’re not trying to shy away from anything and we’re motivated to respond to this challenge.”
Sao Paulo will visit Goias in the opening round of the Brazilian Serie A championship on Sunday.