Mundo Deportivo revealed back in March that Alaba, the 23-year-old Austria international, was Barcelona’s number one summer transfer target. Luis Enrique and Barca’s technical secretary Robert Fernandez admire the player’s versatility and regard him as the new Eric Abidal.
Abidal, of course, played for Barcelona at left-back and, on occasions, in central defence. Alaba can also play in both positions but, according to Mundo Deportivo’s update, has his heart set on playing in midfield.
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The report - which is brought to our attention and translated by the Mirror - states that Alaba does want to sign for the Catalan giants.
However, he will only make the switch to the Camp Nou from the Allianz Arena if he can play as one of the team’s three central midfielders.
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Sanches deal could be bad news for Alaba
Alaba, who plays in that position for his country and has been deployed there on occasions by Bayern Munich, appears keen to move away from the back-four.
The Austrian has also informed Bayern Munich of his wish to play in central midfield, but the acquisition of Renato Sanches from Benfica this week suggests Carlo Ancelotti plans to keep him in defence next season.
Alaba reportedly believes that playing at the back prevents him from showcasing his true talent; he believes he can be more effective for the team closer to goal.
Barcelona want a defender - not a midfielder
But this may concern Barcelona, who are looking for a first-class defender capable of playing at left-back and centre-back.
Alaba ticks all the boxes - apart from his desire to actually play in either of those defensive positions.
It’s hard to imagine Barcelona agreeing to Alaba’s demands, although it’s true that Andres Iniesta isn’t getting any younger.
If Alaba agrees to rotate with the legendary Spaniard while also helping out in defence when required, there’s a small chance the deal could happen this summer.
Alaba would cost at least €60m
Barcelona would need to pay a hefty fee to sign Alaba - at least €60 million, according to Mundo’s report from March - and this could be another stumbling block for the reigning European champions who currently face difficulties renewing the huge contracts of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar.
It’s clear that much needs to happen in order for this dream potential transfer to become a reality.
Should Barcelona agree to David Alaba’s demands and play him in midfield? Have your say by leaving a comment below.