As recently as earlier this week, the majority of reports across Europe seemed to suggest that Real Madrid was leading the race to sign David Alaba from Bayern Munich either this winter or during the summer transfer window. It’s Alaba’s preferred destination and Madrid is only one of a small list of clubs that would be able to afford his transfer fee and salary demands.
However, per a new report from Sport Witness, Manchester City is now interested in joining the race to acquire Alaba’s services. If Alaba were to wind up joining City, it would be a reunion with Pep Guardiola, having developed a solid relationship during Pep’s time as Bayern manager. Of course, when the January transfer window officially opens, clubs can have discussions with Alaba without having to first contact Bayern, so time will tell whether or not anything from City comes to fruition in that regard.
It’s worth remembering that there were attempts to use Alaba as a part of a swap deal with Manchester City for Leroy Sane, but Alaba did not take too kindly to that proposition. At the time, Bayern had been pursuing Sane for over a year and the fact that Alaba was offered as potential part in a swap deal was something he took as a “slap in the face,” having felt underappreciated by the club. Ultimately, Bayern wound up getting Sane, but the potential swap deal certainly didn’t do any favors for Bayern in terms of Alaba’s salary demands or willing potential to sign a contract extension.
While Real Madrid is still the frontrunner to sign Alaba, City do have a bargaining chip working in their favor in addition to Guardiola’s already solid relationship with the Austrian international. It’s reported that Guardiola is ready and willing to offer Alaba a midfield role, which is the position he prefers to play in instead of a center back or left back role.
Guardiola had used him in a central role before during his tenure as Bayern manager, so it’s something he’d already be familiar with and he’d be able to quickly integrate him into City’s squad that’s already comprised of a star-studded midfield with Kevin De Bruyne, Ilkay Gundogan, Bernardo Silva, and Rodri, among others. Those two factors are working in City’s favor, making them potentially a more suitable option over Real Madrid, Barcelona, and Paris Saint-Germain.