Real Madrid Transfers: 5 defenders to target heading into 2021

Jules Kounde (Photo by James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images)
Jules Kounde (Photo by James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images) /
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David Alaba
David Alaba (Photo by ANP Sport via Getty Images) /

Bayern Munich LB/CB David Alaba

David Alaba would be a free transfer for Real Madrid in the sense that they would not have to sign him from Bayern Munich, as Alaba’s contract will expire at the end of the 2020-2021 season. But since he could request 12 million euros per year as he did from Bayern Munich, he is very much not a “free” possibility.

Real Madrid have limited funds to buy players, but they also have limited flexibility with their wage budget. One of their top earners, Gareth Bale, is on loan at Tottenham, and if he continues to struggle, Real may have to “welcome” him back at his full wage hit. That’s not ideal.

Alaba is more like an emergency option if Real Madrid cannot keep Sergio Ramos, which would be a disastrous outcome. It’s not that Alaba isn’t a wonderful player; he is class. The issue is that there is a drop-off between Ramos and Alaba, especially when it comes to this specific club. There is no replacing Ramos, and we don’t even want to ponder him leaving.

That said, Alaba needs to be on the list of targets for Real, because he is a stellar player. Alaba’s passing and knowledge of the game are first-rate, and his versatility is just about impossible to match. This is a player who has excelled at the highest level for years, game after game, and he can withstand the pressure of the Santiago Bernabeu.