Manchester United will not look to sign Bayern Munich defender David Alaba because they fear the cost of getting a deal done would be too high.
The 28-year-old, who is seen by many as one of the game’s finest defenders, has rejected a new contract at the Allianz Arena, and with his current deal set to expire at the end of the season, he is now expected to walk away on a free transfer.
United were recently credited with an interest in Alaba and were said to be readying a mammoth offer to land the Austrian ahead of Real Madrid, but The Athletic‘s Laurie Whitwell has now put those rumours to bed.
The Red Devils appreciate Alaba’s talent but are not prepared to enter a bidding war over his wages, which are expected to exceed £200,000-a-week. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants to keep the financial balance of his squad and does not want such a high earner to come in and disrupt things.
Instead, it’s Real who are said to be leading the race for Alaba’s signature, with the Spanish side ready to make a huge financial commitment to the Bayern man if they can land him on a free transfer.
Both Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain are also keen on Alaba, but his admiration for Real appears to have put Zinedine Zidane’s side in pole position to sign the 28-year-old next summer.
It remains to be seen what United will do in their search for a long-term partner to Harry Maguire. They have already snubbed the chance to move for RB Leipzig’s Dayot Upamecano, which would suggest that they have already come up with a plan for the coming months.
90min understands that Villarreal’s Pau Torres is high on United’s wish list, while scouts have also been instructed to keep an eye on Sevilla’s Jules Kounde, Brighton’s Ben White and Leicester’s Caglar Soyuncu.
20-year-old Schalke sensation Ozan Kabak has also been thrown into the mix, with the Red Devils thought to be considering rivalling Liverpool in the race for his signature.
A lot of United’s transfer business will hinge on outgoings, particularly in defence. Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo are both high-earning fringe players who have been put up for sale, while doubts also remain over the future of Eric Bailly.