REAL MADRID

Real Madrid, Barcelona lead race for David Alaba

David Alaba's agent, Pini Zahavi, has revealed that Real Madrid and Barcelona are leading the race, but insisted that talks are still ongoing with "other clubs".

Real Madrid, Barcelona lead race for David Alaba
MATTHEW CHILDS REUTERS

David Alaba is one of the hottest properties on the market right now with Real Madrid, Barcelona, PSG and Chelsea all vying to sign the Austrian.

Alaba has already officially confirmed that he will leave Bayern Munich after 13 years. His high demands made it impossible for Bayern to renew his deal and he will now depart the Allianz Arena on a free transfer in June.

The Spanish clubs are apparently leading the race to sign him, according to the most recent reports, with Madrid sitting in pole position.

“David has to choose who wins the race,” his agent, Pini Zahavi, told Kicker. Zahavi revealed that the Spanish clubs are currently leading that race but insisted the door remains open to other options. "We are still talking to other clubs," he clarified, adding that his decision will not be taken in haste: "There is no deadline."

As such, Alaba’s future may not be decided until the end of the European Championships, where he will try to lead Austria out of a group it shares with the Netherlands, North Macedonia and Ukraine.

Real Madrid must resolve Varane, Ramos issues before Alaba move

Patience, then, is key in this operation, which perhaps works in Madrid’s favor as they have two other pressing issues to resolve before launching a definitive move for Alaba, namely the unresolved futures of central defenders Raphael Varane and Sergio Ramos.

Varane, whose contract expires in 2022, plans to bring an end to his time in the Spanish capital in search of a new adventure. Madrid, therefore, will listen to offers this summer for fear of losing him on a free next summer.

Ramos, meanwhile, has now said that he would like everything to be resolved in his contract impasse with Madrid, but time is running out quickly with the captain’s current deal set to expire this June.

Alaba is the preferred option to take the place of either Ramos or Varane. The versatile Austrian can play as a left-back or a midfielder, and his excellent ball delivery would be greatly appreciated if the current captain decides to jump ship.

Sergio Ramos, David Alaba and Raphael Varane

Sergio Ramos, David Alaba and Raphael Varane

Laporta factor at Barcelona

The arrival of Joan Laporta has complicated the Alaba situation for Madrid, as the new Barcelona president has placed the Bayern defender, along with Erling Haaland, as his top signing priorities. Kicker insists that Madrid is still the main favorite, although Zahavi has confused the matter a bit with his comments.

“I have not yet decided where I am going. Madrid or Barça? My agents will inform me of everything and I will not drive myself crazy when deciding,” said Alaba himself on 16 February when officially announcing his departure from Bayern.

Meanwhile, Alaba continues to play a crucial role in Hansi Flick's Bayern team, as evidenced by his 35 games played so far the season. Any hesitations clubs may have about signing the Austrian defender (currently valued at €55 million by transfermarkt.com) will not be related to performance, but more on his high salary demands. He is reportedly looking for a minimum of €11 million a year.