Despite earlier rumors quashing the David Alaba links to Chelsea, it appears that the Blues are, at the very least, monitoring the situation from the shadows. According to ESPN FC, Chelsea are keeping tabs on the 28-year-old, who will be a free-agent next summer and can start negotiating with overseas clubs directly from January.
Alaba’s versatility makes him all the more enticing, with his ability to play at left back, centre back and midfield providing extra flexibility to any manager that the Austrian international plays under. While Chelsea have a set-backline in terms of starters, it can be argued that there is a significant gap when we look at the rotational options, with the futures of all of Antonio Rüdiger, Andreas Christensen, Fikayo Tomori, Marcos Alonso and Emerson Palmieri unclear at this point.
The main obstacle to this deal is Alaba’s wage demands of £350,000 or so, with his potential salary putting him at the very top of Chelsea’s pay structure, and although that would be offset by the lack of a transfer fee, signing him could have significant bearing on our pursuit of Declan Rice.
Chelsea’s interest in the player is also reinforced by Sport BILD’s report (via Sport Witness), who claim that alongside the Blues, Real Madrid, PSG and Barcelona are also interested in the 28-year-old. Bayern Munich have apparently given up all hopes of a contract renewal, and are now fully expecting Alaba to depart.
While Alaba would prefer a move to Spain, both Real Madrid and Barcelona’s dire financial situation (Barcelona also have a poor relationship with his agent, Pini Zahavi, after the latter brokered Neymar’s move to PSG) makes that an unlikely eventuality.
At this moment, it’s still unlikely that Alaba will end up in the blue side of London come next summer, but in the world of football, one can never know for certain.