Bayern Munich manager Hansi Flick and his influential players have backed teammate David Alaba in the midst of a contract rift with the club’s hierarchy. Alaba’s future at Die Roten has been up in the air for a few months now, but the relationship between his camp and Bayern brass have hit a new low after club president Herbert Hainer publicly revealed that the board is retracting it’s latest contract offer.
Head coach Flick has nevertheless continued to rely on his chief-in-defense, as he most recently showed by giving Alaba full ninety minutes in the Bavarians’ 6-2 drubbing of FC Red Bull Salzburg in the UEFA Champions League.
Speaking prior to the commencement of the game, the quintuple winning coach dispelled any doubts regarding the contract rift having any impact on Alaba’s performance:
Zero point zero. I see David as a very important player for the team. He is part of the team, leads the team with his character on and off the pitch and is popular with the team. For us he is an important partner in the team.
The Austrian soon repaid the trust reposed by his coach with a fine performance. It wasn’t one of his best, as the Bavarians did leak two goals but one could argue that it was more so as a result of a weak midfield performance rather than the central defender’s own faults.
Speaking to the press after the game, star winger Leroy Sané was full of praise for the two-time treble winner. In the past, Sané has revealed the mutual respect he shares with Alaba. “I don’t follow it that much. I focus on the team, David too. He’s a great boy.” the 24-year old said after scoring Bayern’s fourth goal from a stunning left footed curler.
“It’s something between him and the club. I can only say that he always performs well here and that he is completely focused on us.”
Vice-captain Thomas Muller also extended his support for his oldest teammate. The two academy graduates have been playing together for Die Roten since 2011 and have experienced all the highs and lows associated with the club’s previous decade. Alaba’s contract has been a hot topic for quite some time now and Müller too was asked post-match to give his take on the situation.
“The topic has been with us for a long time. The contract has still not been signed; there is nothing new. We’ll see, I don’t know. Let us be surprised by the future,” Müller, who was involved in two of the opening goals for his side, spoke after the game.
The attacking-midfielder pointed out that his colleague doesn’t let such off-the-field distractions influence his game:
He is his own man on the pitch for the team and is not influenced by it. At Bayern, we sometimes want you to hear something. Regardless of the discussion, David doesn’t let himself be influenced and performs well.
At Bayern, off-field antics, much like this contract saga, have never failed to surface from time to time and the drama surrounding them has helped earn the club a nickname popular among fans and onlookers alike.
In his typical fashion, the Raumdeuter jokingly added that he is enjoying the reboot of so-called “FC Hollywood”:
It’s also interesting for the audience - it’s nice when there’s a little bit of drama at the club. I used to enjoy reading about that stuff - FC Hollywood - and now you can watch it live!
Jerome Boateng is another player who has worked side by side with Alaba in Flick’s treble winning campaign. The veteran center-back, who put in a man-of-the-match worthy performance, acknowledged the tough period his defensive partner is going through.
“Of course it’s an issue, but not as big as it is done. He focuses on the essentials. It’s not an easy situation for him, that is clear.” said Boateng.
But the 31-year old insisted that Alaba will be supported by the squad through thick and thin.
“But he played another great game today. We as a team are absolutely behind him.”
Stay strong, David!