Liverpool have decided not to pursue a move for Bayern Munich contract rebel David Alaba despite speaking to the versatile defender’s representatives about a free transfer, according to reports.
The 28-year-old is out of contract with the Champions League holders this coming summer and has rejected fresh terms, with a move away from Bavaria now a virtual certainty.
He is believed to be close to agreeing a pre-contract with Real Madrid – having been free to talk to foreign clubs from the start of the month – though Liverpool had also been interested.
There were even suggestions the Merseysiders might try to sign Alaba this month for a nominal fee to ease their injury crisis at the back, with Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip all sidelined.
However, The Independent report that, despite entering talks with Alaba last year, they have backed away from a deal and do not believe he is the player they need at this moment in time.
While Jurgen Klopp is a big fan of the Austria international, he is regarded as both too small and not strong enough in the air to play centre-back in the Premier League for Liverpool.
In fact, a large part of the reason for Liverpool speaking to Alaba’s camp last summer was simply to gauge his demands in relation to Thiago, who the Premier League champions were also pursuing, and they felt it was helpful in drafting an offer for the Spaniard.
Alaba’s most likely destination is the Bernabeu, with Real prepared to cede to his massive salary demands worth around £12million-a-year after tax.
Some Bayern fans fear Alaba’s performances have dipped amid the uncertainty over his future, but the Austrian rejected those claims in an interview with Bild, saying: ‘No, absolutely not.
‘Personally, I don’t think things are going so badly for me this season and I haven’t changed my style of play compared to last year.
‘I’ve said it many times: For me, the only thing that counts is another successful season with Bayern. We are still leading the table and I am sure that we will win the next games and, in the end, we will be top.’