Bayern Munich defender David Alaba is almost certain to be on the move this summer. Talks over a new deal with the Bavarian club broke down towards the end of last year and, since then, those among Europe’s elite have been jostling to get to the front of the queue for his signature.
Real Madrid certainly lead the way having agreed a deal with Bayern for the defender, according to Fabrizio Romano. Chelsea have come into the picture recently in an attempt to hijack the deal. However, the Telegraph’s Matt Law reports that the Blues have been put off by the £400,000-a-week wage demands from the Austrian. Such a figure would make him the highest-paid player in the Premier League, exceeding the £375,000 sums reportedly paid to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and David de Gea on a weekly basis.
Though Chelsea would not have to pay a transfer fee on top of that, it’s still an extortionate amount which goes far beyond the wages of any current Blues player.
Chelsea Correct to Step Away From David Alaba Deal
Where Would He Play?
For much of his Bayern career, David Alaba has been deployed as a left-back. More recently, though, he has moved into a central role and, internationally, he has been known to move much further up the pitch into midfield and sometimes even into attack.
On the club scene, however, he’s most certainly a defender, and there comes the first issue.
The Blues are already pretty healthily stacked in defence. They have three players capable of playing at left-back in Ben Chilwell, Emerson Palmieri and Marcos Alonso, while Antonio Rudiger, Thiago Silva, Andreas Christensen and Kurt Zouma regularly rotate the centre-back roles. Add to this the fact that Cesar Azpilicueta could admirably do a job anywhere across the back four, and Chelsea’s defence seems pretty set.
Where there appears to be the most room for manoeuvre is at left-back. Neither Emerson nor Alonso were regulars under previous boss Frank Lampard, and although the latter scored an excellent goal in the recent 2-0 win over Burnley, Thomas Tuchel’s first as manager, the amount of time he has spent on the periphery recently still makes him one of the prime candidates to be moved on in the summer.
This, theoretically, would then see the requirement for another left-back take a step up. But if Alaba were to then play ahead of Ben Chilwell, it would leave a £50 million-rated, supremely talented young defender on the bench. Would Chelsea want to see their money going to waste like that?
There is even less wiggle room is at centre-back. Thiago Silva, as also reported by Law, is keen to extend his current deal with Chelsea beyond the summer and Tuchel is happy to continue the relationship the two had at Paris Saint-Germain too. After his impressive start in the Premier League and his rapport with the manager, that’s likely one of the spaces gone.
Andreas Christensen’s Chelsea career appeared to have been on the ropes for some time. However, his performances in the away wins at Tottenham Hotspur and Sheffield United sparked a lot of debate over whether he could still fight for his future at the club. With Silva currently out injured, this is certainly the perfect time for Christensen to make his mark and prove he has what it takes to stay.
Meanwhile, there seems to be no suggestion that Rudiger’s and Zouma’s time at the club is coming to an end any time soon either. While there can be little doubt that Alaba’s addition would improve Chelsea’s defence, if he really is insistent on such an astronomical wage then the club should either stick with what they have or find cheaper alternatives if they have any desire to bolster the defence.
Interest in David Alaba From Elsewhere
Though there is a reported agreement for Alaba to go to Madrid in the summer, the fact Chelsea looked at the possibility of hijacking the deal suggests the move is not set in stone yet.
Liverpool were reported to be interested at the back end of last year and held talks with the defender’s representatives over his contract demands but nothing significant materialised, and the Reds instead chose the short-term option of signing Ben Davies and Ozan Kabak after the injury to Joel Matip.
Manchester City were also credited with interest last summer but nothing appears to have come of that, while Alaba is said to have turned down interest from PSG too.
It leaves Real Madrid as the only realistic option – a club that can afford his wages and one where it has always been his dream to play.
If the move does go through, Alaba could be coming in as a replacement for Raphael Varane, who could leave the club this summer if he does not sign a new deal.
It seems all along that Alaba’s desire has been to go to Real Madrid. Chelsea could have made an excellent addition by convincing him to join them, but at £400,000-a-week, they’re right to walk away.