Real Madrid: There’s only one way to get David Alaba, and it’s not what we want

David Alaba (Photo by ANP Sport via Getty Images)
David Alaba (Photo by ANP Sport via Getty Images) /

David Alaba is squarely on Real Madrid’s radar as a possible free agent signing, but the wages involve make him a sensible acquisition in only the direst of circumstances.

Real Madrid don’t need David Alaba. Pay close attention to my word choice. I did not say that Alaba would not help the club, nor did I make any negative remarks about an undeniably world-class – and versatile – defender.

But Real Madrid don’t need Alaba. That is, of course, unless they do, and the only way Alaba would be a need  is if one club hero decides to do what most Madridistas consider unthinkable.

Alaba isn’t the only one with an expiring contract at the end of the 2020-2021 season. And while Bayern Munich have already made the decision to toss one of their most faithful and greatest defenders of the modern era to the side, Real Madrid will not do the same to Sergio Ramos.

At the end of this season, Ramos could be a free agent. He could choose to sign with PSG or Juventus, and that actually seemed like a distinct possibility to many fans if Real lost to Borussia Monchengladbach and fired Zinedine Zidane.

But with Ramos in the lineup, Los Blancos won. Handily. So we are back to believing almost 100 percent that Ramos, who means more to this club than perhaps any other player to any “big” club in Europe right now, will choose to re-sign. It would be a shock if he didn’t.

And it would take that shocking decision in order for Alaba to sign with Real Madrid.

Alaba wants to play for Real or Barcelona in 2021-2022. It’s pretty much obvious at this point. There are other teams involved, such as PSG and Chelsea, but those two powerhouse Spanish clubs would be his favorites. The problem is that Barcelona is fighting off serious economic issues. And Real can’t throw money at players like PSG or Chelsea, either. If they do have a budget to make a big move next summer, it will all be spent on attacking talent and not another defensive player.

BILD reports that David Alaba becomes an option for Real Madrid if Sergio Ramos leaves at the end of the season. And when we look at the salaries involved for Alaba and the need that would be created if Ramos were to leave, that can be the only way this deal would be done. Alaba’s dream deal hinges on a move that would be a catastrophe to many Madridistas.

Alaba is a great defensive player. He can excel as a left back or center back. His technical quality is immense, including on set pieces. Alaba has been a leader for Bayern, and his work in the team’s build-up play was instrumental in their treble last season.

But he is no Sergio Ramos. He has not accomplished what Ramos has accomplished at Real Madrid, nor is he regarded as one of the world’s best center backs. If Real bought back Sergio Reguilon from Tottenham, Alaba would have zero place at left back and would be Ramos’s replacement at center back. But as good as Alaba is, can anyone replace Ramos?

The answer is, of course, “nobody”. I would like to make this point, though. Who would do a better job of attempting to replace Ramos than Alaba?

Think about it. Alaba is great at set pieces. Alaba is an excellent passer. Alaba can match Ramos’ athleticism. And Alaba exudes leadership. He is not the same as Ramos and could not directly fill his shoes. Can you name a better backup option, though?

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Alaba can offer Real Madrid a lot. Anyone arguing otherwise is disrespecting Alaba’s ability and achievements at Bayern. But in order for Los Blancos to sign him, Ramos would have to break Madridista hearts. That appears to be the situation at hand.