From a sporting perspective, Alaba’s ability to play center-back, left-back, or in his preferred position in the central midfield would make him a no-brainer for either club. Spanish news outlet AS however, thinks any sporting interest from Los Galacticos will be quickly culled by the financial demands of Alaba and is camp:
Real Madrid made a salary cuts last year to combat the economic crisis generated by the pandemic and if the games behind closed doors last for a long time, it is not ruled out that this situation will reappear. In this context, it is difficult to explain to the squad the incorporation of a player who would be among the best paid in the club. He is a footballer who wants to play in Spain, who fits in with Madrid and whom Madrid has followed in recent years. In other circumstances they would be obliged to understand each other, but in the current situation it is more complicated.
As for FC Barcelona, they have their own well-documented financial struggles. Despite the years of rumored interest from Barca, it appears that Alaba would not be able to get anywhere near the salary he desires in a Catalonia:
The reason is the salary that the player receives. Alaba currently earns 8 million euros net per season. And the figures that were being considered in the renewal increased this amount since the player wants 12 million clean per campaign. Barcelona is not going to reach these figures in any way. It is true that the player would arrive free and no transfer would have to be paid, but Barcelona’s salary mass is going through the roof and the Barça club cannot pay the amounts it intends.
Let’s be clear...if either Real Madrid or FC Barcelona really thinks Alaba is the key to a Champions League crown, they’ll find a way to make the finances work.
And that’s the issue.
For as fine a player as Alaba is — and despite the fact he has already won the Champions League twice — he likely won’t be able to provide the kind of impact needed for either club to make such a proclamation. Sure, it’s possible that either club finds a way to make it work and hopes for the best, but the COVID-19 pandemic makes the upcoming transfer windows (maybe for the next two-to-three years) very questionable. Clubs are facing major uncertainty with their current and future finances and bringing in high-salary players — even on a potential free transfer — could be an issue.
Truthfully, any of the English club are better positioned to make a move for Alaba than any club from Spain or Italy, but all we can do is wait-and-see. Perhaps, Alaba might get his rumored wish to eventually play in Spain...he just might have to ease his salary demands to do it.