Liverpool have been widely linked with Bayern Munich’s versatile Austrian David Alaba in recent weeks, but the latest report says he’s no longer a target.
It’s not difficult to imagine why so many supporters, and those within the club, see the Austrian as a prime candidate to improve the squad.
Playing for Bayern he’s a serial winner, has great technical quality, a lot of experience and is massively versatile – including an ability to play centre-back, which is rather attractive to those of a Red persuasion right now.
However, the interest in him appears to have come and gone from a Liverpool perspective.
The Independent‘s Melissa Reddy says that the club “did hold talks with Alaba’s camp last year”, though this appears to have been more as part of an information-gathering process rather than seeing him as a No. 1 transfer target.
Reddy explains that, with Alaba and Thiago in a similar position of winding down their contracts at the Allianz Arena, the Austrian’s salary expectations were used “for comparative purposes” in judging what to offer the Spanish international.
However, the club do not view Alaba as the right profile for a centre-back, being significantly shorter and “not strong enough aerially” for a regular starter in the defensive line.
His ability to fill in at left-back was similarly no longer viewed as imperative once Kostas Tsimikas had signed and Liverpool have essentially dropped all intent to be in the running for him on a free transfer this summer: “a hard no” according to club sources.
There is no prospect of Alaba leaving Bayern midway through the campaign and next season, with a ‘normal’ schedule and pre-season in place, he would only be expected to play in midfield where he to join the club – Tsimikas back fit, a full complement of centre-backs in place – so it’s understandable that he’s no longer seen as a priority.
Reds Madrid are also thought to be his preference and the front-runners to sign him, if a financial agreement can be reached.
That said, matters can quickly escalate with transfers if a player gives a hint of wanting to join, with world-class players in relatively short supply.
There could yet be a twist in the tale a few months down the line, but for now at least, it appears this rumour has been effectively ended by circumstance and the signing of Thiago.