David Alaba Bayern 2020-21Getty Images

Real Madrid confirm signing of Alaba from Bayern Munich on free transfer

Real Madrid have confirmed the signing of utility man David Alaba on a free transfer following the expiration of his contract at Bayern Munich.

The 28-year-old Austria international, capable of excelling at left-back, central defence or in midfield, chose to end his long association with Bayern at the end of the 2020-21 campaign.

Several leading European clubs had been linked with his signature, but Alaba has chosen to continue his career at Santiago Bernabeu.

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What are the terms of the deal?

Real confirmed that Alaba has signed a five-year deal at the club and will join up with his new team-mates after the European Championships, at which Alaba will be a key figure in the Austrian side.

Alaba arrives at Real as one of the most decorated individual footballers in Europe, having won 28 different titles after joining Bayern in 2008. These include two Champions League titles, and 10 successive Bundesliga crowns.

He played 431 games for Bayern - a record for a non-German footballer - scoring 33 goals, and was named in UEFA Team of the Year three times.

How important will Alaba be for Real?

After declaring his intention to leave Bayern earlier this season, Alaba had been one of the most sought-after footballers in the world. Although he arrives at Real one day after the departure of manager Zinedine Zidane, he will be key for whoever takes over given his long-established reputation as a top quality player in multiple positions.

Alaba has played as a central defender in recent seasons, and could serve as either a partner or replacement for one of Real's centre-back pairing of Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane, both of whom have been linked with a move this summer.

The Austrian was more often used at left-back before the last couple of years, and has also played in more advanced roles when needed. For his country, he often operates as a left winger.

Alaba is the first signing of what could be a busy summer for Real, who ended last season without a trophy as city rivals Atletico Madrid won La Liga, Barcelona took Copa del Rey, and they were knocked out the Champions League in the semi-finals by Chelsea.

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