Bayern Munich defender David Alaba has expressed his disappointment with the club as relations surrounding his future appear to have soured, in light of comments from honorary president Uli Hoeness describing agent Pini Zahavi as a ‘greedy piranha’.
Alaba has less than a year left on his current Bayern contract, but the chances of an extension being agreed have taken a blow as a result of the latest stand-off.
If no new deal happens, Bayern may have to consider selling him this summer before the transfer window closes, or in January, to avoid losing a valuable asset for free next June.
The problems have migrated into a public sphere since Sunday when Hoeness told German broadcaster Sport1: “David has a greedy piranha as an advisor. His father, whom I like very much, is also very influenced by him.”
Hoeness also claimed that Zahavi has asked for ‘two digit million sum’. But Zahavi himself has denied requesting a larger than usual commission from the deal and even stated it had not even been discussed, because he wants an agreement with Alaba to be the priority for the negotiations.
“At no time did I talk in detail about a possible commission payment with those responsible for Bayern,” he is quoted as saying by Sky Germany.
“The only time this topic came up was at our meeting in Lisbon. There Hasan Salihamidzic asked me how I would imagine it. I told him that we should work on an agreement with the player first, but that I won't be asking for more than usual. I don't want to get more than other advisors who have received commission payments from Bayern.”
Alaba’s father, George, is also surprised by the approach Bayern have taken in the saga, with Sky explaining he is ‘personally disappointed’ in the club having been extremely loyal over the years. He has also accused Bayern of ‘spreading dirty lies in public about salary and commission claims.’
Alaba himself told Bild that he doesn’t want the discussion to be played out in public, explaining, “I would like my contractual situation not to be clarified in public. Therefore, a few statements and reports from the last few weeks have surprised and hurt me.
“Many of the things that are being written and said at the moment are just not right and not true. I would like to spare everyone involved a public discussion, even if not all details are known.”
According to Sky Germany, the sticking point is over contract length and salary. Bayern are only four years, but Zahavi and the player have requested five. There also seems to be a belief from the player’s side that the proposed salary – a slight improvement on the opening €7.5m offer from Bayern – doesn’t reflect Alaba’s status in the squad, given that he is publicly hailed by the club.
Bayern will only sell this summer for €60m, which it is said is considered a ‘fantasy sum’ by the Alaba camp because no club will pay that amount when he is due to be a free agent in nine months.