Last season David Alaba walked into the Real Madrid team and stood out for his leadership in central defence. The Austrian defender wasn’t far off a perfect season in Madrid, securing a league and Champions League double.
Arriving from Bayern Munich on a fee last summer, there is little doubt he was one of the signings of season. Having let Sergio Ramos go, few thought he would be replaced so easily.
Speaking on the matter, Bayern Sporting Director Hasan Salihamidzic has admitted he perhaps could have done more to keep Alaba in Germany. Diario AS carried his words, originally reported by Die Zeit.
“We offered him a lot of money, from our point of view. There was a meeting with David’s agents and we gave him an ultimatum, we told them David had to make a decision.”
“Looking back now, I would maybe say that wasn’t necessary, that it would have been right to give a player of David’s quality time to decide.”
It proved to be a costly mistake and illustrates the fine margins when dealing with elite footballers. It might not have ended with Alaba staying at Bayern, but from Salihamidzic’s words, it can be inferred that it closed the door on the matter.
Just a season down the line, Bayern have since seen fit to splash out €70m on Dutch central defender Matthijs de Ligt from Juventus. The two might not be connected, but those inclined to do so will paint it as an expensive mistake from Salihamidzic.