David Alaba has always been a prohibited dream for Barcelona. They tried to sign him in 2018 and again last summer but Bayern Munich have always refused to negotiate.
Now, Alaba has put the brakes on a contract renewal with the German club, where he has a deal until 2021. It seems, therefore, that Bayern may be ready to cash in on him rather than lose him for free in 15 months.
Barça recognise there has been contact but don't see the operation as viable unless Alaba accepts a wage cut, something which is not on his mind at the moment. Bild first revealed that the deal was back on the table earlier this week.
The Bayern left-back has always been on Barça's agenda. Everyone at the club feels his qualities and versatility would fit Camp Nou perfectly. He can play across the back four or even in midfield.
Alba's father, George, has been at Barça's offices several times in recent years, but an agreement with Bayern has never been possible.
Barcelona believe this time a transfer could be possible -- even in the form of a player exchange -- because of Alaba's contract situation in Bavaria. The problem is his salary. He currently earns eight million euros net per season and wants to earn more. Barça are almost at their salary limit and it's almost impossible for them to pay what he wants.
There are ways of structuring salaries to make it possible but Barça don't believe that will happen at the moment. It's not that they don't like the player or don't feel he'd be a necessary signing, it's just that the financial arguments outweigh everything else right now.
Barça will continue to talk with Alaba to see how his future unfolds. The club want to invest in defence this summer and there are several players being followed.
Alaba is not on the table at the moment but it's undeniable that the club will keep an eye on the situation until he decides where his future lies.