Barcelona have reportedly opened talks with the agents of David Alaba, who is also a target for arch-rivals Real Madrid, over a summer move.
According to a report by Spanish publication AS, David Alaba has emerged on the radar of La Liga heavyweights Barcelona over a possible move in the summer transfer window. The Bayern Munich superstar is also a long-term target for Real Madrid among a bevy of other clubs.
By now, it has become abundantly clear that Alaba does not have much of a future with Bayern Munich. His current contract is set to run out in the summer and the two parties have been at an impasse over the terms of a new deal, leaving the player free to negotiate with other clubs over a possible Bosman move post the end of the season.
Currently in his 11th season with Bayern Munich, the Austrian international has been a stalwart for the Bundesliga champions over the past decade or so. Till date, he has amassed 419 appearances for Die Roten, while also chipping in with 33 goals and 50 assists. His non-existent future at the Allianz Arena, though, has alerted a number of clubs, including Real Madrid and now, Barcelona.
Real Madrid have been hot on the trails of Alaba for months now and it has even been reported that they have reached a verbal agreement with him over a free transfer. Los Blancos‘ interest in Alaba makes sense as well, considering the uncertain futures of Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane.
With Marcelo also in the twilight of his career, Alaba could even be an option as a left-back, if not at at the heart of the Real Madrid defence. The Merengues, though, now face stiff competition from Barcelona in the race to sign the 28-year-old, with newly-elected president Joan Laporta already meeting with his agents, Pini Zahavi and Fali Ramadani to discuss a possible summer move.
Barcelona’s interest is also understandable, not only from a sporting perspective but also financial. The Blaugrana are in need of a centre-back to succeed the ageing Gerard Pique while also being in the market for a left-back, with Junior Firpo facing an uncertain future and Jordi Alba on the wrong side of 30.
As far as central defensive options go, Barcelona have been linked with Edmond Tapsoba among others, although Alaba is a viable target as well. That he will not cost anything in way of transfer fee also works well for Barcelona – and Real Madrid for that matter – considering their recent crisis.
However, a potential stumbling block could be his wage demands and unless Barcelona are able to offload a few high earners, signing Alaba could well be out of question. What now remains to be seen is if the Catalan giants can swoop in for the Bayern Munich superstar, or if Real Madrid or some other suitor swoop him away instead.