Bayern Munich are negotiating a new contract with David Alaba. It’s safe to say that it’s been a difficult negotiation thus far, with the sticking point being the player’s wages. Alaba wants to be a top earner in the squad, on par with Robert Lewandowski at the very least (if reports are to be believed). However, the demands of his entourage have been poorly received by the club bosses, who view it as exorbitant.
That’s the polite version of events. If you want the sauce, look no further than Uli Hoeness’ Doppelpass interview. Speaking on the popular Sport1 football program, the former Bayern president ripped into David Alaba’s representative — Israeli “super-agent” Pini Zahavi.
“He [Alaba] has a greedy piranha for an agent,” said Hoeness. “His father, whom I like a lot, he’s letting himself be influenced by him very much.” Zahavi, who also represents Robert Lewandowski, has never had an amazing relationship with the Bayern bosses. Hoeness’s statements are not likely to improve it.
Speaking about the ongoing disagreements, the former Bayern president said, “It’s purely about money. If you only knew what Mr. Zahavi demands only for himself for David’s signature for an eight-figure sum. That is not at all possible. I can understand that Hasan [Salihamidzic] totally flipped out at a meeting. The arguments that are being exchanged there defy belief.”
Hoeness added that everyone at the club loved Alaba and wanted him to stay for the next season and beyond. “He’s a super guy,” he said. “Hansi Flick absolutely wants to keep him. Everyone wants him to stay. He’s a very good player.”
Speaking about his hopes for the future, Hoeness continued by saying, “I hope that David and his father realize that a four or five-year contract at FC Bayern is the best for them and that they adapt to our wage structure. Then everyone would be happy.”
Hoeness asked that everyone remember that the club has an established wage structure, and intends to stick to it. “The last millions this is about will not make him happier,” he said, “but would mess up our wage structure. That’s why the club has to be very firm in this matter.” The last time Bayern broke their wage structure (on Mario Götze), it led to Toni Kroos asking for more than Bayern were willing to pay and then eventually moving to Real Madrid.
Of course, this could backfire, given that Alaba is on the last year of his contract. Plenty of clubs around Europe will see a chance to snap up a world class left-back and center-back, next season, especially Alaba’s desired destinations of Real Madrid and Barcelona, not to mention clubs in the Premier League.
However, what’s said cannot be unsaid. This interview probably won’t make negotiations any easier, but it’s still refreshing to see that Uli Hoeness will not be muzzled in his retirement. In the era of tightly controlled PR-positive statements, Hoeness remains a bastion of honest bluntness, much to fans’ pleasure (and chagrin). It’s hard to have him around, but you can’t deny that he’s an entertaining man. Here’s to more Uli bluntness in the future!
Now, this comes from Bild, so take it with a grain of salt. However, they claim that Alaba’s agent Pini Zahavi demanded 20m euros in agent fees.
If true, this would certainly explain Hoeness' fury. In fact, I'd go so far as to say the demands are utterly shameless. Football agents, man. They never change.