Liverpool are not yet out of the race to sign Bayern Munich defender David Alaba, according to reports.
The Austria international is set to leave the Allianz Arena when his contract expires in the summer.
The Spanish champions have already offered the two-time Champions League winner a long-term deal, thought to be either four or five years.
Alaba has played at centre-back for much of his time under Hansi Flick, having previously been deployed at left-back and in midfield.
And with Sergio Ramos’ future uncertain, Madrid hope to win the race for Alaba’s signature.
However, Liverpool have also expressed an interest in the Austrian and could yet beat Zinedine Zidane’s side to the Bayern man.
The Reds have made contact with the player’s representatives, but they are aware that Alaba has long dreamed of playing for Madrid.
That complicates their task, although Liverpool will hope the chance to be reunited with former Bayern team-mate Thiago Alcantara on Merseyside will appeal to Alaba.
The 28-year-old is now free to sign a pre-contract agreement with non-German clubs, but he is not expected to leave Bayern before the end of the season.
Bayern withdrew their final contract offer to Alaba in November after failing to reach an agreement with the player and his agent.
“I’m honestly not happy that we have to deal with this issue this week, when we’re facing two difficult away games to Salzburg and Dortmund,” Flick told reporters after the discussions broke off.
“I would be happy if David stays at Bayern beyond this season. David is a top player and a really great person.
“He embodies certain values, is popular with the club and supporters.
“I have no doubts that he will continue to perform at peak performance and give everything.”
Alaba will hope to win a 10th Bundesliga title before bidding farewell to the Allianz Arena in the summer.
Get the best features, fun and footballing frolics straight to your inbox every week.
Thank you for signing up to Four Four Two. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.