David Alaba has endured a difficult campaign so far this season on the fitness front. The Austrian international has no dearth of quality on the field but has struggled to find continuity in game time.
He missed seven games over 25 days in January this year before making his comeback in early February. His return lasted less than three weeks as he was forced out for another month through a hamstring injury late in February.
He returned to training on March 22nd and was cautiously reintroduced into the pack. However, there are now concerns that his hamstring injury has relapsed.
The former Bayern Munich player started Real Madrid’s second leg against Chelsea last night but was substituted off for Antonio Rudiger at half-time. Ancelotti later revealed that the early change was forced through suspected relapse.
According to reports from Arancha Rodriguez, there are serious concerns over Alaba’s hamstring injury now. He will face a few weeks on the sidelines and the hope is to recover him in time for the first leg of the UEFA Champions League semifinal.
Real Madrid will face either Manchester City or Bayern Munich in the first leg of the last-four stage in the second week of May. The men in white will be without the services of Eder Militao on the night, and could thus be in a difficult situation if Alaba’s recovery does not go to plan.
The 30-year-old has played 21 La Liga games for Real Madrid this season, scoring one goal and providing three assists. He has overseen four clean sheets and averages over four defensive actions per game.
Alaba is seen as a leader in Los Blancos’ dressing room and his unavailability for two weeks will be a big blow to Ancelotti’s plans. Needless to say, his presence will be vital in the UCL fixture on May 9th.
Real Madrid considered signing 25-year-old Bundesliga defender on loan after Alaba’s injury
David Alaba’s ACL rupture towards the end of 2023 sent a wave of sudden panic within the Real Madrid coaching staff and during the January transfer market, the team from the Spanish capital explored several opportunities.
In that context, a report from AS has affirmed that Real Madrid considered signing Union Berlin’s Diogo Leite on loan until the end of the season, but the move and the entire thought eventually died out.
Real Madrid liked what they saw
Leite was identified by Real Madrid as a player with significant potential, possessing excellent ball control, and having demonstrated his capabilities at the highest level.
However, rather than exploring a permanent transfer, the possibility of a loan until the end of the season was under consideration, taking into account the specific circumstances faced by Carlo Ancelotti’s team.
Notably, the 25-year-old played the full 90 minutes in both matches against Real Madrid at Santiago Bernabeu (1-0) and at his home (3-2) in the Champions League group stages.
Summer move not being considered
Leite, a product of FC Porto youth academy, has gained valuable experience under Pepe’s guidance while at the Portuguese club which made him Union Berlin’s fourth most expensive signing in history.
As of today, though, Real Madrid’s summer transfer target list excludes central defenders, with the exception of Rafa Marin, who is on loan to Alaves.
Interestingly enough, Leite has garnered a strong reputation in the Bundesliga, and sources indicate that Xabi Alonso’s Bayer Leverkusen is expressing interest in acquiring his services.
As far as Real Madrid are concerned, the likes of Eder Miliato and Alaba would return by the beginning of the next season and with Antonio Rudiger also available, the centre-back positions would be more or less covered.