Alcantara set to leave but Bayern ‘cautiously optimistic’ of keeping Alaba

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Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge expects Spanish midfielder Thiago Alcantara (L) to leave once the Champions League campaign is over
Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge expects Spanish midfielder Thiago Alcantara (L) to leave once the Champions League campaign is over Tobias SCHWARZ AFP/File

Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said Tuesday he is “cautiously optimistic” of keeping David Alaba but is braced to lose Liverpool target Thiago Alcantara once the Champions League finishes in Lisbon.

Having routed Chelsea 7-1 on aggregate in the last 16 following Saturday’s 4-1 win in Munich in the return leg, Bayern face Barcelona in the quarter-finals on Friday in a clash of European heavyweights.

With a year left on their contracts, both defender Alaba and central midfielder Alcantara are stalling over extensions.

Alcantara, 29, who has been heavily linked to Liverpool, has long since signalled to the club that he wants to leave.

So far, the Spaniard, who has won the Bundesliga title in each of his seven seasons in Munich, has rejected all of Bayern’s efforts to keep him.

“It is known that he wants to do something new. If a club comes to us and offers a fair sum, we will deal with it,” Rummenigge said with an air of resignation at a media event in Munich on Tuesday.

However, he is “cautiously optimistic” about keeping Alaba, because “we are working on a solution”.

Austrian star Alaba, 28, refused to talk about his future after Saturday’s victory over Chelsea.

He said he is focused solely on the Champions League as Bayern bid for the treble, having already claimed an eighth straight Bundesliga title and lifted the German Cup.

Rummenigge has also ruled out extending the one-year loan deal of Philippe Coutinho, who will return to Barcelona next season.

Rummenigge said that because of the coronavirus pandemic Bayern Munich “cannot make any further investments of this magnitude in these difficult economic times, which are also difficult for us.”

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