Bayern Munich's Champions League winning centre-back David Alaba has attracted attention from a host of Europe's elite after entering the final year of his contract, with Juventus among his keenest suitors.
Alaba has been at Bayern since joining their youth sides aged 16 in the summer of 2008. After a spate of defensive injuries forced Alaba to fill in at centre-back, the versatile Austria international - most often a left-back but also comfortable in midfield - thrived at the heart of Bayern's backline.
As the incoming Hansi Flick installed Alaba alongside Jérôme Boateng in defence, Bayern embarked upon an unrelenting run of form, winning 29 of their final 30 fixtures last season which culminated in a European treble.
Yet, despite this sustained success, Alaba and Bayern have been unable to agree a contract extension. The latest update on negotiations indicates that while Alaba's representatives are 'assuming' Bayern will ultimately yield to their demands, the possibility of the player leaving on a free transfer cannot be 'excluded'.
If Bayern do stand firm, Juventus have emerged as an interested party regarding Alaba's immediate future, according to Italian publication Tuttosport. However, the Old Lady will face competition from French financial heavyweights Paris Saint-Germain. Bayern's Champions League final opponents consider Alaba as Thiago Silva's ready-made successor after the Brazilian's departure to Chelsea.
Juve's Chief Football Officer Fabio Paratici is thought to be keen on Alaba, not only given his potential availability as a free agent - Tuttosport estimate that the player would otherwise cost between €60m and €70m - but also because of his age profile.
At just 28, Alaba is still very much in his prime and although he is older than many of Juve's youthful recruits this summer, represents an opportunity too good to overlook if he does indeed fail to agree terms with Bayern.