After the comments Karl-Heinz Rummenigge made at Leroy Sané’s official presentation, the proverbial ball is in David Alaba’s court. The Bayern Munich CEO indicated with unusual candor that Bayern has “put its cards on the table”: Alaba seemingly can take it or leave it.
Rummenigge said (SPORT1), “It’s nice that he can imagine staying in Munich. His agent told Hasan that.” But it still comes down to money, Rummenigge continued:
“It’s no secret that contract negotiations, as always, are about finances. We have laid our cards openly on the table. Now it’s up to his agent, his father, who is also involved in the talks, and at the end of the chain David himself whether he would like to spent the next few years at this club, where he has played successfully for twelve years.”
Rummenigge delivered a thinly veiled commentary on Zahavi’s efforts: “Concerning salaries at the elite level, this or that agent still seems to be of the opinion that the sun is still shining brightly on the world outside despite the coronavirus. That is not the case. But perhaps at the end of the day there will still be an opportunity to reach a compromise.”
As for any clubs hoping to land Alaba or Thiago Alcantara on the cheap, Rummenigge added, “Despite the coronavirus, there won’t be any ‘summer sale’ at FC Bayern.”
Zahavi and George Alaba must be playing hardball to warrant such a firm and public critique from Rummenigge. Rummenigge gives the impression that Bayern will not improve whatever terms the club has already offered. That is presumably less than the €20 million or more that Alaba is supposedly demanding through his agents.
A salary on that scale would put him virtually on par with the highest-paid players at Bayern Munich: Robert Lewandowski, Manuel Neuer, and Thomas Müller. Alaba certainly will get a raise, but Bayern apparently will not be bullied into more.
Alaba has been invaluable to the club this season, in which both starting center-backs Niklas Süle and Lucas Hernandez were felled by injury. But in the process, the club discovered a veritable diamond at left-back in Alphonso Davies. That both simplifies and complicates the club’s position.
With Davies now on the left, Bayern could gamble that Alaba will not be as indispensable next season, if Hernandez and Süle return to form. Hernandez hypothetically could deputize at left-back, if necessary. Jerome Boateng is also now leaning toward staying, and his form under Hansi Flick has been incredible. He would be a perfect third center-back. And if Alaba really leaves, Bayern presumably will respond on the transfer market.
There are a lot of moving parts. Let’s hope Alaba takes that opportunity to reach a compromise after all and save us some misery.