With the David Alaba contract extension saga at a stalemate, rumors have begun circulating about the Austrian’s potential departure from Bayern Munich. According to Florian Plettenberg of Sport1, there is concrete interest from Juventus for the player. Having won the Champions League twice in Bavaria, is Alaba considering a move abroad?
Well, not so fast. Just today, sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic said that Bayern were still trying to convince the Austrian to sign a new contract with the club. Plettenberg confirms the same, but also confirms reports claiming interest from Italy:
Update #Alaba: I can’t confirm an agreement between #Juventus & Alabas representatives (Zahavi/ Dad George). But there is definitely a high interest from #Juve. FCB officials still believe that Alaba will extend the contract. But he takes his time & there is no ultimatum. @SPORT1 https://t.co/CJexdiTREy— Florian Plettenberg (@Plettigoal) October 12, 2020
Importantly, there doesn’t seem to be an agreement between Alaba and Juventus, which keeps Bayern at the table.
For months now, it’s been reported that the player only wanted to move to Real Madrid or FC Barcelona if he left Germany, but perhaps the current situation has changed his mind. Given that Bayern are standing firm on their salary offer, and the apparent lack of interest from Spain, Alaba has been forced to broaden his horizons.
In that case, Juventus wouldn’t be a bad destination. Unlike the Spanish clubs, who are well-covered in the Austrian’s preferred playing positions (left-back, center-back, and midfield), Alaba would be a key cog in Turin if he were to move there. The Bianconeri love experienced players, which makes Alaba, as a two-time treble winner, a nice fit. They also have ambitions of winning the Champions League in the coming seasons, which suits a player of the Austrian’s caliber — he will get to play with stars like Cristiano Ronaldo and Paulo Dybala while in the prime of his career. He could even get to play in midfield if he chooses — there’s no Joshua Kimmich or Thiago Alcantara around to keep him on defense.
As for Juventus, the move would make perfect sense if Alaba chooses to leave on a free. The Old Lady likes to hand out huge wages to players who they sign on free transfers, see Adrien Rabiot and Aaron Ramsey. Given that Alaba’s dispute with Bayern has to do with his future wage package, this would be the perfect hook for the Austrian.
In addition, it would be cheaper for Juventus to meet Alaba’s wage demands than for Bayern to do so. The Italian government recently passed new tax legislation that allows foreign football players to be taxed on only half of their income. At a near 50% tax rate this means that Juve can pay David millions less in gross income but the player can still receive a higher net. It also makes the signing bonus potentially less painful.
So, as far as plausibility goes, this rumor seems legit. Now it’s a matter of whether anything comes out of it. Alaba’s been at Bayern since he was a teenager. Now, he finds himself at a crossroads in his career. The club have no reason to budge, as they have Lucas Hernandez and Alphonso Davies to replace him if he leaves. So will the Austrian cave and sign the contract, or will he seek pastures anew? It’s all up to the player at this point.