• Dan Tracey


While although the January transfer window has recently closed, the focus is already shifting to dealings in the summer and even though potential big money moves are already generating lots of discussion, the cheaper end of the scale is arguably of more interest.

To the point where it becomes the cheapest end of the scale and with several of Europe’s biggest names finding themselves out of contract at the end of the season, there is something of a goldrush for their services.

Of those who find themselves in a state of free agency, it is undoubtedly the potential movements of Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero which are creating the most column inches at present. However, that’s not to say they are creating all the stories either.

Because one of the more interesting stories as of late, is just where David Alaba will be plying his trade next season and with an exit out of Bayern Munich now looking highly likely, the race to acquire the Austrian has begun in earnest.

In terms of interest, it has come from across Europe and with the 28-year-old being a part of the Bayern Munich team that conquered the continent last summer, he will have no shortage of potential suitors come June.

With June 30th being the key date in all of this – if only because this is the day in which his current Bayern contract expires, the defender will obviously be keen to sort his future out much earlier and potentially as soon as possible.

Which means for those who are looking to snare such a precocious talent, they will have to move fast and that is exactly what Chelsea will look to do, as the West London outfit have reportedly offered him a deal.

A deal that although tempting, might not be tantalising enough and although Premier League counterparts Liverpool have also been sniffing around, it is seemingly Real Madrid who have moved to the front of the queue.

Much has been made of the fact that Sergio Ramos is unwilling to sign a new contract at the Santiago Bernabeu and should he move on from the Spanish capital as expected, it would leave last season’s La Liga champions with a tremendous defensive void to fill.

A void though, that could well be filled by the presence of Bayern Munich’s Alaba and according to transfer expert Fabrizio Romano, a verbal deal has already been agreed with Real’s manager Zinedine Zidane.

Of course, there could be a further plot twist in all of this, as Zidane himself has been rather coy on his long-term future in the Spanish capital and there is no guarantee that he will be manager of the club next season.

If that was the case, then whoever who would take the reins of Los Blancos next, would be left with something of a gift-wrapped star to utilise and they themselves would reap the rewards of having David Alaba among their ranks.

At a reported £400,000 a week, any capture of the man who has won 76 caps for Austria will not come cheap. Then again, when you look at just how important he has been to Bayern Munich for the best part of a decade, then he will certainly be worth every penny of his new hefty salary.