David Alaba has reached an agreement to join Real Madrid as a free agent, the club have confirmed, ending speculation of a Premier League move.
It has long been known that Alaba would be leaving Bayern Munich at the end of his contract after a trophy-laden spell in Austria. Real Madrid always seemed like the favourites to sign him but there were Premier League links. For example, Chelsea were named as major suitors and Liverpool were suggested as another option.
But the first instincts have proven to be correct and Real Madrid have now confirmed the signing of Alaba for next season onwards.
A statement on Real’s website read: “Real Madrid has reached an agreement with the player David Alaba, who will remain tied to the club for the next five seasons.
“David Alaba will be presented as a new Real Madrid after the completion of [Euro 2020].”
According to reports, Alaba will earn a salary of around €12m per season for his contract until June 2026.
He leaves Bayern having made 431 appearances for them, providing 33 goals and 55 assists. Able to play as a centre-back, left-back or defensive midfielder, his versatility will be crucial as Madrid look to rebuild.
Zinedine Zidane has already left his role as head coach, but whoever replaces him already knows they have a top player to work with in Alaba.
Los Blancos missed out on the La Liga title to cross-city rivals Atletico Madrid this season. Next year, the target will be to return to the top. Bringing in a player of Alaba’s calibre will certainly help.
The Austria international could help replace Sergio Ramos, who is out of contract. The veteran Spaniard hasn’t been able to find an agreement to continue with the club and may also be on the move for free.
Alaba saw Liverpool as ‘step back’
Reports earlier this month claimed that Liverpool had tried to hijack Alaba’s transfer, but he rejected them for two reasons.
According to Don Balon, he only had his heart set on a move to the Bernabeu. Additionally, he was concerned that Liverpool might not have had Champions League football on offer next season.
Ultimately, they secured their place in Europe’s elite competition by finishing third in the Premier League. But Alaba’s mind was already made up at that stage.
He viewed Liverpool as a “step back” if they couldn’t guarantee him the level of football he wanted. They could have even offered him a higher salary and he would have still preferred Real.
It seems unlikely they would have offered him better terms than the eye-watering figures Madrid have anyway. Their signing of Ibrahima Konate from RB Leipzig shows they were focusing elsewhere all along.