Bayern Munich defender David Alaba is one of a host of top stars who will be available on a free transfer at the end of the season but could he end up at Barcelona?
The Austria international has been in talks with Bayern over a new contract, but those negotiations are now “on hold,” according to Bild’s Lena Wurzenberger. The defender wants to stay at the Allianz Arena, but Bayern do not want to give him a pay rise because it would ruin the team’s salary structure.
Alaba has already turned down a salary offer of €11 million ($13m) plus €6m ($8m) in bonuses from the Bundesliga champions and is waiting to see if the club come back with another one.
If Bayern and Alaba can’t come to an agreement then the 28-year-old could leave the Bundesliga champions for free when his contract expires at the end of the season. Alaba’s “dream destination” is either Barcelona or Real Madrid, according to Wurzenberger.
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Alaba Set for a New Challenge?
Alaba has been at Bayern Munich since 2008 and has won countless titles in a glittering career with the Bavarian giants. However, club legend Lothar Matthaus has told Sky Deutschland the Austria international could be tempted by a new challenge.
“If David is interested in anything other than a few million, then I could understand him. I also wanted to move to Real Madrid in 1991. Inter didn’t let me go though.
“If David decides that after so many years he really wants to experience something different, then it’s understandable. If he has the great desire to play for a club like Real, to experience the Premier League week after week or to make magic with Messi, those would be arguments that I can understand.”
The 28-year-old would certainly attract interest if he were available on a free. According to Tuttosport, Serie A champions Juventus are keen on the defender. The Italian giants have a habit of bringing in players for free, having signed stars such as Dani Alves, Paul Pogba, Fabio Cannavaro, and Andrea Pirlo when they were out of contract.
Koeman Wants a New Center-Back
Meanwhile, Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman has already made it clear he wants to sign a new center-back for his team. He spoke about potential signings in a press conference before the summer transfer window.
“There are two positions where we would need reinforcements: central defender and centre forward. Even on a numerical level, it would help us to have one more player per department.”
Barcelona managed to send out Jean-Clair Todibo on loan on deadline day, which helped reduce the wage bill, but were not able to bring in top target Eric Garcia from Manchester City.
The Citizens’ football operations officer Omar Berrada told the Manchester Evening News why talks with the Catalan giants failed.
“We had a conversation with Barcelona about Eric García. We were very clear what we felt his valuation was – they weren’t able or were willing to meet it, so our decision was to keep him. We think he’ll be important for us.”
Garcia is also out of contract at the end of the season and seems a more likely option than Alaba to come in. He’s still only 19, has bags of potential, and came through the youth ranks at Barcelona.