Bayern Munich’s honorary president Uli Hoeneß isn’t famed for mincing his words and the club legend has taken the opportunity to speak out quite candidly about the reported demands being made by David Alaba in his current contract negotiations branding agent Pini Zahavi “a greedy piranha’.
Alaba, whose current Bayern contract runs out at the end of the season, has seen talks over a new deal at Bayern stall with the Austrian reportedly looking for a €20 million gross wage per season. The Champions League winners are offering ‘just’ €11 million plus €6 million in add-ons gross per season.
“I had a coffee with him a few weeks ago, but we haven’t come to a conclusion yet,” Hoeneß revealed. “He’s a great guy, Hansi Flick really wants to keep him. Everyone wants him to stay with us, he’s a very good player.
There is however a sticking point and that is Alaba’s advisor. “He has a greedy piranha as an advisor. The father, whom I like a lot, lets himself be influenced by him. A contract extension only depends on an agreement on salary. It’s all about the money” Hoeneß added.
“I hope that David will ultimately be the one who will prevail. He’s already at the best club in the world, where should he go? In the end he has to decide. He is 28 years old and shouldn’t let himself be influenced from outside. We want nothing more than that he stays.”
Bayern are no small fry when it comes to transfers and contract negotiations and the Bavarian shark will see itself as more than a match for the Amazonian flesh-eating fish that Zahavi is being compared to. Alaba is officially represented by his father, but Zahavi is world renowned for orchestrating big money deals in the football world.
The issue Bayern have is that 28-year-old Alaba, who has long been regarded as one of the best left backs in the world, developed last season into one of the best centre backs in the world after trainer Hansi Flick moved him to partner Jerome Boateng in Bayern’s defence. His effortless transition has only added to his potential worth and the player’s advisor knows full-well that there are clubs out there, who would be prepared to pay the wages that are being bandied about.
Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea, Inter, Paris St Germain and possibly others would have the financial muscle to pay Alaba €20 million per season. In Thursday’s edition of Kicker, Bayern president Herbert Hainer stated that “no one has contacted” the German champions about Alaba and said he believed the player had received a contract offer that is “fair and competitive”.
The problem is Bayern’s ‘competitive’ isn’t as competitive as the competitive offered by the Saudi/ Russian/ US-backed clubs mentioned.
The Austrian has been at the club since 2010 and has won the treble of Bundesliga, DFB Pokal and Champions League on two occasions. There is nothing he can achieve at Bayern that hasn’t already been achieved making a lucrative new challenge potentially appealing to him.
“I really can’t imagine that David would want to leave FC Bayern. We are very interested in him staying, and I think he feels comfortable at FC Bayern as well,” Chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge told Bild two weeks ago.
Along with Manuel Neuer and Thomas Müller, Alaba is one of the club’s most influential players, but money talks and even a club of Bayern’s magnitude and standing might struggle to fend of the piranhas that are circling.