David Alaba agrees to join Real Madrid on free transfer

Veteran striker Mario Mandzukic is set to return to Europe with Serie A leaders Milan

David Alaba has reached an agreement to join Real Madrid on a free transfer in the summer, bringing to an end an 13-year spell at Bayern Munich. The defender will sign a four-year deal with the Spanish champions in the next few weeks.

The Austrian’s dream has always been to play for Real Madrid and he will go there having turned down approaches from, among others, Liverpool and PSG. Bayern have made three separate contract extension offers but the player had made his mind up and wanted a new challenge.

A pre-contract agreement has been drawn up and will be signed after the player has passed his medical. The 28-year-old will earn €230,000 (£204,000) after tax.

The deal is not directly linked to whether the Real Madrid captain, Sergio Ramos, will stay at the club or not. The defender is still negotiating with the La Liga champions over a contract extension.

Alaba has won nine league titles and two Champions League titles during his time at Bayern Munich, having joined their academy from Austria Vienna in 2008.

Mario Mandzukic, who played alongside Alaba and scored the winning goal in the 2013 Champions League final, is set to return to Europe with Serie A leaders Milan. Their head coach, Stefano Pioli, confirmed the move after Milan's win at Cagliari on Monday.

“When the club proposed it to me, I immediately said yes,” Pioli said. “I spoke to him, he’s very motivated, he’s a winner. I’m happy, the club is ambitious, they want Milan back on top. Mandzukic’s arrival goes into this situation.”

The 34-year-old is currently playing in Qatar with Al-Duhail after leaving Juventus in 2019, and will offer competition to fellow veteran Zlatan Ibrahimovic. - Guardian

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