Real Madrid suffer injury setback with defender unlikely to return until 2025

  • David Alaba has been out with an ACL injury since December
  • Reports claim former Bayern Munich star may not return until 2025
  • Real Madrid interested in Lille centre-back after Nacho departure
Alaba barely played during the 2023/24 season
Alaba barely played during the 2023/24 season / Eurasia Sport Images/GettyImages

Real Madrid defender David Alaba may not fully recover from his anterior cruciate ligament injury until 2025, according to a report.

The Austria international was downed by an ACL blow in December during a La Liga match against Villarreal and hasn't played since, missing the knockout stages of his club's victorious Champions League campaign and Euro 2024 with his national team this summer.

While fellow defender Eder Militao has returned to action having suffered a similar injury a few months prior to Alaba, Austrian newspaper Die Presse claimed at the end of June the former Bayern Munich star still hasn't gained full mobility of his injured leg and added a return before the end of the year is "rather unlikely".

They also revealed the knee blow is "more serious than publicly communicated".

Heute add that Alaba has also suffered cartilage damage which has delayed his recovery and prevented him from even starting running.

David Alaba
Alaba watched Austria from the sidelines at Euro 2024 / Marvin Ibo Guengoer - GES Sportfoto/GettyImages

The 32-year-old featured in 13 La Liga games and three Champions League fixtures before his season-ending injury meant manager Carlo Ancelotti had to turn to club captain Nacho Fernandez to partner Antonio Rudiger in central defence.

Aurelien Tchouameni dropped into central defence as Madrid's options at the back became stretched due to injuries, while right-back Dani Carvajal was also required to fill in centrally on a few occasions.

Nacho has since left the Bernabeu for Saudi Pro League side Al Qadsiah, signing a two-year deal, and Madrid are interested in recruiting a new centre-back for the 2024/25 season.

Lille star Leny Yoro is a reported target but Los Blancos face competition from Premier League giants Manchester United for his signature. The Red Devils have reached an agreement 'in principle' to sign the 18-year-old, but Yoro is said to prefer a move to Madrid over England.

However, the current La Liga and Champions League holders' only offer so far amounts to just €20m (£17m), significantly less than United's proposal worth €50m (£42.3m).