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Pep Guardiola says ‘irreplaceable’ Dani Alves will stay at Barcelona

Pep Guardiola defends Dani Alves after the Brazilian's sending off in Barcelona's 2-2 draw with Real Betis on Saturday night

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Pep Guardiola believes Barcelona defender Dani Alves still has a future at the Catalan club, despite rumours linking the Brazilian with a move away from Camp Nou.

The 29-year-old was shown a second yellow card for a dangerous tackle on Jefferson Montero in Barça’s 2-2 draw with Real Betis in Guardiola’s final La Liga game in charge on Saturday night.

But Guardiola expects Alves, who has been linked with a move to Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala and Manchester United in recent weeks, to remain a key player for the Copa Del Rey finalists.

“It’s not my call answering questions about his future,” said Guardiola.

“From my point of view Dani Alves is an irreplaceable player. He’s contribution to the team is fantastic.

“He’s been a pivotal player for Barcelona during the past years and I hope can continue to be so in the future.”

Guardiola’s final game will be against Europa League runners-up Athletic Bilbao in the Copa Del Rey final on 25 May.

The 41-year-old has guided Barcelona to three La Liga titles and won the Champions League twice in a four-year spell at Camp Nou.

“No [my absence won’t be felt],” Guardiola added.

“La Liga existed before me and will exist after me, and I have no idea [what I will do], I cannot answer that now.”

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