Liverpool have been handed a big transfer blow, as reported target David Alaba looks to have agreed to join Real Madrid in the summer.
The Reds have been heavily linked with a move for the Bayern Munich centre-back in recent weeks, as his contract with the Bundesliga side is set to expire at the end of this season, meaning he could’ve been signed on a free transfer in the summer.
However, Italian football journalist Fabrizio Romano has now confirmed that the Austrian international will join Real Madrid ahead of next season, which will surely come as a blow to Jurgen Klopp.
Alaba has established himself as one of the best centre-backs in European football in recent years, helping Hans Dieter-Flick’s side to victory in the Champions League final last season.
Last season in the Bundesliga, the 28-year-old averaged a solid 6.99 rating, making 28 appearances as Bayern cruised to the title.
He could’ve been an excellent partner to Virgil van Dijk in the heart of Liverpool’s defence, as he would’ve complemented the Dutchman’s aerial prowess and defensive quality with his own ability to make progressive passes into the midfield and attack.
Alaba has also proven himself to be extremely versatile in his career thus far, something which surely would’ve been appreciated by Klopp, as he has featured as a left-back, a centre-back and a defensive-midfielder on a number of occasions.
Considering Fabinho has arguably become the Reds’ most important player this season due to his ability to play as a centre-back as well as a defensive midfielder, it seems clear that Alaba would’ve been a hit with the German manager.
During Pep Guardiola’s time with the German side, he was full of praise for the Austrian, saying:
“He’s an unbelievable talent. He can play anywhere. He’s quick, good in the build-up and always 100 per cent focused. Without doubt, he can be one of the best centre-backs in the world. He’s a huge gift for Bayern.”
It appears as if the Spanish manager wasn’t wrong when you consider Alaba’s superb performances for Bayern in the past few seasons, and it is undoubtedly a blow for Klopp that he won’t be following in Thiago’s footsteps by making the move to Anfield next summer.