Barcelona’s defensive transfer target slips to Real Madrid
According to a report published by Marca, David Alaba is set to become a Real Madrid player in the summer on a four-year contract. Barcelona were chasing after the Austrian’s signature as well but cannot afford his salary.
Alaba is set to become a free-agent in the summer after refusing to sign a contract extension with Bayern Munich, and is being chased by multiple clubs, including Barcelona themselves. However, early reports stated that the two-time treble winner has always dreamt of playing in the whites of Madrid, and will move to the Spanish capital in the summer.
Alaba has been with the Bavarian giants for over a decade, joining them in 2009 from Austria Wien. En-route two trebles, the 28-year-old has played across the pitch in multiple positions – as a left-back, centre-back, central midfielder, and winger. A clash about his contract, though, led him to the decision to not extend it, despite finishing with the season with the Champions League.
With Gerard Pique way past his prime, Samuel Umtiti the subject of recurrent injuries, Clement Lenglet overwhelmingly underperforming, and Ronald Araujo and Oscar Mingueza too young to start each game, David Alaba would have made for the perfect addition for Barcelona in the heart of the defence.
Left-footed, versatile, exceptional passer, and in his theoretical prime, Barça would not have had to worry about the defence for a few more years. However, the Austrian’s €8 million salary is too off-putting for a club in financial crisis. Signing him on a free transfer would have saved the club a lot of money, but without selling heavy earners like Umtiti, Coutinho, among others, Barça can never afford that amount or anything upwards.
That said, with six months left between the next transfer window, it is still possible that Alaba and Bayern call truce, and agree on a new contract for the future.