The piece, authored by Raphael Honigstein, reveals key details of the negotiations that have caused things to go a bit off the rails:
- Bayern is offering Alaba a weekly salary of approximately €317,000 (including bonuses) over four years, while Alaba wants a weekly salary of approximately €437,000 over five years. This detail contradicts Sport Bild’s claim that Bayern Munich was already prepared to offer a fifth year to Alaba.
- Putting Alaba in the same salary stratosphere as Manuel Neuer or Robert Lewandowski could have an adverse trickle-down effect that might push players like Joshua Kimmich, Serge Gnabry to demand that their own current deals be renegotiated.
Those points are the easy parts of this saga to digest. From there, it gets worse. Specifically, there are clearly some hard feelings between Bayern Munich and Alaba’s agent for these negotiations, Pini Zahavi.
Some folks within Bayern Munich think that Zahavi is “deliberately quoting sums the club can’t meet in an effort to stall and run down Alaba’s contract,” because shopping the player as a free agent would provide an easier path to securing a “more lucrative deal” according to The Athletic.
Also, The Athletic states that Zahavi has offered Alaba to clubs in Spain such as FC Barcelona and Real Madrid, but neither have the financial capacity to bring Alaba in. English clubs like Chelsea and Manchester City have reportedly shown interest in Alaba, but the Austrian is allegedly not too keen on a move to the Premier League.
Where does that leave everything? Well, Bayern Munich is reportedly already assessing what a future without the versatile player would look like. Specifically, the club believes it has “plenty of depth” at center-back with Lucas Hernandez, Niklas Süle, Benjamin Pavard, and Tanguy Nianzou all able to play the position.
Bayern Munich would then be willing to take Alaba’s salary and apply it to another position within the squad that could use bolstering. Lastly, The Athletic asserts that “by making their grievances public, Bayern are attempting to drive a wedge between the player and his advisors.” A little divide and conquer if you will.
Whether that is truly Bayern Munich’s internal strategy might never be known, but as has been quoted and paraphrased many times from former mafia accountant Otto Berman, these contracts talks are “nothing personal, it’s just business.”