By Nathalia Araujo, dpa
Berlin (dpa) – Bayern Munich defender David Alaba has decided to leave the German top club after more than a decade when his contract expires after the season, the player told a news conference on Tuesday.
“I have made the decision to leave Bayern at the end of this season and try something new,” Alaba said.
“It obviously wasn’t an easy decision – I’ve been here for 13 years and the club means a lot to me,” he added.
Austrian Alaba is yet to choose a new club, with Spanish champions Real Madrid reportedly the top contender.
Despite talks for a contract extension, he and Bayern didn’t reach an agreement, with Bayern withdrawing their last offer.
Alaba thanked “everyone, absolutely everyone” who fought for him to stay at the club.
“I’m really thankful for that and that’s why it made this such a hard decision. I can call Bayern my family,” he said.
The defender joined Bayern under-19 team in 2008 from Austria Vienna. He made his professional debut for the Bavarians in 2010 before going to Hoffenheim on loan and returning to Munich to become a regular starter.
With the club he was part of the both treble seasons in 2012-13 and 2019-20, winning nine Bundesliga titles, six German Cup titles, and the Champions League and Club World Cup twice.
Bayern can also see centre back Jerome Boateng leaving at the end of the season. With his contract expiring in June 2021, club and player haven’t agreed on an extension.
But with Alaba long tipped to leave the Bavarians are already preparing for the future as they will welcome French defender Dayot Upamecano from Bundesliga rivals RB Leipzig in summer.
The Bundesliga record champions confirmed on Sunday they met the 42.5 million euro (51.5 million dollar) release clause and that Upamecano has a contract until 2026.