The Clubs Who Really Need to Push for David Alaba & Where is he Off Next?

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David Alaba transfer news

David Alaba has been one of the most talked-about names in football this season as the 28-year-old versatile defender is expected to leave Bayern Munich after 11 years of incredible service.

The Austrian will depart the Allianz Arena in the summer on a free transfer and bring with him a collection of medals likely to surpass anybody in the team he joins: two Champions Leagues, six DFB-Pokals and nine Bundesliga titles.

Reports have emerged on an agreement with Real Madrid on a four-year deal lately, but Alaba's father has denied the "done deal" with the Spanish giants and it remains unclear where he will actually go.

Now, as the Austrian looks to complete his final few months in Munich, we take a look at where he could go and just who needs his elite versatility and defensive brilliance the most.

Manchester United

Regardless of whether or not Manchester United win anything this year, the club have made significant movements as a unit and even if a title doesn't come in, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and his men have established themselves as contenders moving forward.

At the same time, United's defensive vulnerabilities have been patched up significantly and it's now become a position where they don't necessarily need to focus on in the market, as opposed to a right-wing option.

However, despite the vast improvements Harry Maguire has brought in, and with both Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof proving their worth, to avoid bringing in a man of Alaba's calibre would be nonsensical, especially given Bailly's injury-prone nature.

Alaba wouldn't find himself at left-back or the midfield at United as much as he has done at Bayern down the years, given the form of Luke Shaw and addition of Alex Telles as well as their midfield brilliance right now. On the other hand, Alaba partnering Maguire at the back certainly has an appeal to it, with the two-time Champions League winner bringing pace and ability on the ball to the team.

The Red Devils have reportedly chased the Bayern man since it was discovered he will depart the German giants, and as it's on a free transfer, Ed Woodward will no doubt consider the move too, just as he did with Edinson Cavani. However, with nine titles in 11 years, perhaps continuing that title-winning nature is too deep for Alaba to force a risky move to United, where trophies are still not guaranteed.

Likelihood of joining: quite high

How much they need him: a lot

Chelsea

Chelsea have been the most active team in England in the transfer market over the past year and despite bringing in some of Europe's brightest talents, the defensive line remains a worry with keeper Edouard Mendy, Ben Chilwell and a 36-year-old Thiago Silva the only men coming in.

With this said, Silva is likely on his last few years at the top level, whilst questions are asked of the likes Antonio Rudiger, Fikayo Tomori and Andreas Christensen as genuine title-competing defenders, as the club have conceded the second joint-most goals in the Premier League top 10 so far. At the same time, equalling or surpassing Alaba's current wage bill could be easy to meet with Chelsea's blank cheque nature.

No doubt the Austrian will improve the Blues' defence significantly and he would bring to the club that trophy-winning mentality and experience, which is something nobody bar Cesar Azpilicueta, Silva and Marcos Alonso can bring to the team.

Chelsea do need him, and if the club can establish themselves a little more this season, he may join, but it's an unlikely one.

Likelihood of joining: unlikely

How much they need him: a lot

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Real Madrid & Barcelona

Real Madrid and Barcelona have not quite had the fear factor of old in the past few seasons, with Los Blancos failing to have an impact in Europe, whilst Lionel Messi and co. struggle to even compete for La Liga.

In terms of who needs Alaba more, it could go either way. Real will have to come to terms soon that 34-year-old Sergio Ramos - who turns 35 next month - will soon depart or hang up his boots. And, at the same time, Barcelona need all the reinforcements they can get at the Camp Nou with both the fact Gerard Pique soon turns 34 and how the club have conceded just one goal less than relegation-fighting Eibar.

The two Spanish giants do still have the 'it' factor about them of course, and joining them wouldn't be seen as a bad move for Alaba, who is still 28 until June.

In truth, both clubs could do with more men at the back, especially one who is a proven winner and as versatile as they come, but with the state of Barcelona past the point of red alert, perhaps Ronald Koeman should take him on more so, especially as Alaba will be a free transfer.

Likelihood of joining: very high

How much they need him: arguably more than any other team

Manchester City

Manchester City have built up records of most points accumulated, goals scored and games won under Pep Guardiola in the past five years, with more of an emphasis on attack rather than defence being the cause for such unrivalled dominance.

However, this season, with Sergio Aguero out injured and David Silva no longer around, this tika-taka-esque goalscoring nature has taken a bit more of a backseat. In fact, City have the least goals scored inside the top five, but boast of the best defensive record at the halfway stage in all of the Premier League.

Ruben Dias has turned out to be one of the signings of the season and the defender could end up being the best signing of the past few years at the Etihad, should the Citizens snatch the Premier League back from Liverpool.

With this said, along with John Stones' incredible improvement, City have all of a sudden become a team not needing a centre-back, especially considering how Aymeric Laporte - one of Europe's best last season - can't get into the starting XI anymore.

However, squad depth wins titles and Alaba would be a welcomed addition to any team, especially if Fernandinho were to call it a day and need a direct replacement.

Likelihood of joining: small

How much they need him: not so much anymore

Read what Stones' form means for City and England as Southgate could look to reestablish the 2018 World Cup team at Euro 2021.

Liverpool

Right now, simply put, Liverpool should take almost any centre-back they can find.

Jurgen Klopp's men have dropped down into fourth in their Premier League title defence, mainly because of the lack of goals, rather than their inabilities to keep the goals out. However, with Fabinho and Jordan Henderson having to drop into central defence, it has meant the likes of Xherdan Shaqiri and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain have had to come into midfield, which are certainly not Klopp's preferred choices.

Bringing in somebody of Alaba's stature - a man who can play left-back, centre-back and midfield - seems to be the near-perfect draw for what the German desires in his team; unrivalled work ethic and versatility across the backline.

At the same time, by the time Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez make a comeback, Alaba might have both already chosen his next destination and there might not be as much of a reason for him to head to Merseyside by that point, with the return to fitness of key players set to come.

However, this is a man who has two Champions Leagues and nine Bundesliga's in 11 years in Germany and with regular appearances again this year, the Austrian could only add to those incredible numbers before leaving Munich.

Likelihood of joining: good chance, but unlikely

How much they need him: a lot right now, perhaps not so much in the summer

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