Manchester United have turned up the heat in the race to sign Bayern Munich’s wantaway centre-back David Alaba, according to Spanish outlet AS.
Bayern chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has admitted that the Austrian international is likely to leave the club when his contract expires in June after a new deal could not be agreed.
This has alerted a number of Europe’s top clubs, including Real Madrid and of course Manchester City, who seem to be in for just about every centre-back in the world. Alaba will be free to start talking to prospective employers from next week.
And AS claims that United are trying to steal a march on their rivals, having already made contact with the 28-year-old’s agent, Pini Zahavi.
‘Real Madrid have him on their agenda given the uncertainty of what may happen to [Sergio] Ramos, whose renewal has not yet been resolved and who has also entered his last year of contract.
‘But Madrid is not the only one who wants Alaba. Manchester City and United have formally asked their representative, Pini Zahavi, about him.
‘From England, Chelsea’s interest is old. PSG and Barcelona also need to reinforce their defensive lines.
‘Of all of them, it seems to be United that will bid the strongest for him after [Dayot] Upamecano’s renewal for Leipzig.’
Alaba’s contract demands have angered Bayern but may also put off Real.
‘One cannot imagine what he wants for Alaba to renew,’ Bayern’s former president Uli Hoeness said. ‘David has a greedy piranha as an agent.
‘It suits Madrid, but the only problem is the player’s high salary claims,’ AS continues.
‘Alaba has broken relations with his club because he wanted to reach [Robert] Lewandowski’s salary cap, 12 million euros (£207,000 per week) net.
‘For Madrid this would be an unaffordable figure.’
It is also a lot by United’s standards for a centre back, but the fact that they would be able to sign a player with a market value of €65 million (£59m) for nothing in June or next to nothing in January could certainly help to compensate for the high salary.
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