David Alaba: Which club will he move to?
It’s only natural to expect speculation to gather momentum when a player’s contract begins to approach its expiry date, but in the case of David Alaba and his situation at Bayern Munich it seems as though every major club in Europe is keeping their finger firmly on the pulse.
The Austrian international now seems likely to leave Bayern for one of their European rivals and as a left-back or central defender the 28-year-old talent will undoubtedly have a number of clubs offering a starting spot in their teams next summer.
Alaba: Potential Destinations
Perhaps the most obvious destination is Real Madrid. Most roads in European football eventually lead to the Santiago Bernabeu and in Alaba’s case there could certainly be justification for offering him the money needed to make the move west.
Madrid signed a new central defender and left back in Eder Militao and Ferland Mendy respectively last season, but aside from Raphael Varane and 34-year-old Sergio Ramos the Spanish giants do look a little light in the middle of defence. Which is perhaps where Alaba could fit in.
One club that are a little more subtle than Madrid but just as effective in the transfer window are Juventus. The Italian giants seem to specialise in loan deals or free contract signings that most European giants would overlook, yet in the case of Alaba they may be facing a little too much competition from elsewhere.
The Turin outfit are also pretty well stocked in defence. Andrea Pirlo seems content with sticking by Leonardo Bonucci at 33 years of age, along with Merih Demiral and the most expensive defender in the world, Matthijs de Ligt. And if things get really bad they also still have Giorgio Chiellini on the bench.
However, even if Alaba doesn’t make the move to Juventus he could still end up in Italy, with reports suggesting Inter are desperately trying to lure the Austrian defender south of the Alps.
Antonio Conte’s tactics would undoubtedly get the most out of the versatile defender yet it seems unlikely that Inter would splurge on the Bayern defender with central defenders Stefan de Vrij, Milan Skriniar, Alessandro Bastoni and Andrea Ranocchia still on the books.
Another club that may be tempted by Alaba’s availability are, of course, Barcelona. While the Spanish giants may still be undergoing some financial difficulty when the summer transfer window rolls around, Alaba offers a unique and rather inexpensive opportunity for a club that tends to offer salaries first and then worry about how to pay them later down the line.
Ronald Koeman’s side could also use a player like Alaba in their ranks. The Dutch manager can call upon Clement Lenglet and Ronald Araujo next season, but constant injuries to Samuel Umtiti and a 34th birthday for Gerard Pique in February suggest a team that was already a little too top-heavy may need to invest in some long-term planning at the back.
Another place where Alaba may fit in quite nicely is at Anfield. The Bayern defender knows all about Jurgen Klopp and his style of football, having played against his Borussia Dortmund sides as well as this Liverpool team in the Champions League. The Premier League side may also be desperately seeking a central defender in the not-too-distant future, following the long-term injury to Virgil Van Dijk earlier in the season.
Although the English champions do have Joel Matip and Joe Gomez, there isn’t a whole lot of cover after that, following the departure of Dejan Lovren in the summer. Another nasty injury at the centre of defence could mean pulling Fabinho back or turning to untested players Nathaniel Phillips or Sepp van den Berg.