Barcelona, Real Madrid have reportedly suffered a setback in their pursuit of David Alaba as Chelsea are willing to meet his £400,000-a-week wage demands.

According to an exclusive report from the Daily Star, Premier League giants Chelsea may have the edge over Barcelona and Real Madrid in the race to sign Bayern Munich ace David Alaba. This is because the Blues are open to offering the Austrian his desired £400,000-a-week contract, something that both Barcelona and Real Madrid are reluctant to do.

Alaba’s decade-long, successful stint at Bayern Munich is set to come to an end later this year as his contract nears its expiry. The versatile defender has already confirmed that he will not be putting pen on paper over a new deal, sparking widespread interest in his services from a host of clubs across Europe.

Barcelona and Real Madrid are believed to be at the front of the queue though, with Alaba preferring a summer transfer to Spain. And both clubs could certainly use a player of his ilk in the upcoming season.

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Barcelona need to slowly phase out Gerard Pique from the lineup as he enters the final stages of his career. In addition, Jordi Alba is also not getting any younger and with the Junior Firpo experiment failing, signing someone like Alba, who can play at both centre-back as well as left-back would make a world of sense for the Catalans.

Throw in the fact that he will be available on a free transfer makes it only more appealing for the Blaugrana given their financial situation. So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Barcelona are discussing a transfer with Alaba, with some reports even claiming that they have already reached a verbal agreement over a switch.

Real Madrid, meanwhile, need to find a replacement for iconic veteran defender Sergio Ramos, who is out of contract at the end of the season. With negotiations not going as planned, there is a feeling that the legend could move on at the end of the season, leaving a gaping hole in the defence.

Throw in the decline of Marcelo and question marks surrounding the future of Raphael Varane and the need for defensive reinforcements becomes quite clear, with Alaba’s experience, versatility and free agency making him the ideal target for the Merengues.

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For the longest time, it had been claimed that Alaba has a deal in place to make the switch to Real Madrid. However, as per the aforementioned report, that may not be true as Los Blancos as well as their arch-rivals Barcelona are unlikely to meet the Austrian’s massive wage demands.

And this is where Chelsea enter the picture, with the west London outfit reportedly happy to offer the Bayern Munich star his desired contract. It is claimed that the Blues’ new manager, Thomas Tuchel, is a huge admirer of Alaba and is on the lookout for a new defender as a long-term replacement for the ageing Thiago Silva.

Manchester City are also in the picture to sign Alaba but would be reluctant to offer the pay package demanded by Alaba. However, they could still meet it through bonus clauses, making them an outside contender. It now remains to be seen as to where the Austrian ends up come summer.

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