David Alaba is open to a sensational Liverpool move but would prefer to join one of the Spanish giants Real Madrid or Barcelona next year, Football Insider understands.
The future of the Bayern Munich great is up in the air after a public fall-out with the club hierarchy, who have withdrawn their offer of a new contract to him.
The door has opened for Liverpool and other interested clubs to swoop for Alaba, 28, in January as his price begins to tumble ahead of his current deal expiring next summer.
A recruitment source has told Football Insider that Alaba is keen for a new challenge and is eyeing a move to Real or Barca.
Significantly, the finances of the Spanish giants, particularly cash-strapped Barca, means a January deal is extremely complex as the Austria international would cost around £30million as well as demand huge wages.
That offers hope to Liverpool, who will almost certainly have to buy a senior centre-back in January if scans on Joe Gomez’s knee reveal serious damage and he faces joining Virgil van Dijk in being ruled out for the rest of the season.
England manager Gareth Southgate hinted that was a possibility in a downbeat update on the injury sustained by the defender in training yesterday.
Alaba is on Liverpool’s defender target list, just as his former Bayern teammate Thiago Alcantara was before his own sensational Anfield move.
Bayern president Herbert Hainer said that contract talks with the player are now over over after he rejected their latest offers.
Alaba’s many suitors know the Austrian can be signed on a pre-contract from 1 January or on a free transfer next summer.
He is a remarkably versatile operator who can play anywhere in defence, midfield or, even, attack, as he has done regularly for his country.
Alaba has spent virtually his entire professional career at Bayern and played mostly at left-back, but has been used solely at centre-back this season.
All 10 of his appearances this season have come in central defence, including in 3-2 and 6-2 wins over Borussia Dortmund and Red Bull Salzburg respectively last week.