David Alaba has confirmed the inevitable by announcing his departure from Bayern Munich at the end of the season.
Alaba has spent the vast majority of his career with Bayern, becoming one of the most decorated footballers on the planet.
The defender has won 24 trophies with Bayern since making his senior debut as a 17-year-old in 2010.
Now 28, Alaba is in the prime of his career and was a key part of Bayern’s success in the Champions League last season. But his time in Munich is coming to an end.
Alaba is in the final six months of his contract with Bayern. It has long since been known that there was no intention for him to renew his deal.
Instead, the Austria international is seeking a new challenge. With his services available for free, there will be plenty of interest in his signature.
Now, he has explained his decision to leave Bayern for pastures new.
“It was not an easy decision,” he said. “I have been here for 13 years and the association is really close to my heart. I am very grateful to the association for many things.
“I took my time because it’s not an easy decision to make overnight. I decided to do something new. A new challenge.
“I haven’t made the decision yet (on my new club), that remains to be seen.
“It’s no secret that management is in contact with several clubs. But a lot is being read into it and I want to concentrate fully on my task here.
“Money has not been a factor in my decision.”
Where could Alaba move?
One of the favourites to sign Alaba is Real Madrid, who want to strengthen their defence with a successor to Sergio Ramos.
While Alaba said he has not decided his new club yet, he did drop a strong hint towards Real.
“My Spanish is not good, but good enough for the pitch…” he said.
Chelsea have also been linked with the left footer. A report from 90min has revealed that the Blues are the only Premier League club to have made an offer for him so far.
Liverpool and Manchester City are other contenders, but it is claimed they are less interested. Alaba’s preference has always seemed to be in La Liga, anyway.
Therefore, Madrid could be leading the race to sign him.