By Tim Stannard
Real Madrid dump tradition of terrible big money signings with Bayern Munich's David Alaba joining for free
Real Madrid have not announced anything.
Nor have Bayern Munich.
Nor has the player himself.
But those pesky details should never be a show-stopper for a rollicking transfer story. So that's why everyone on Tuesday seems to be in general agreement that Real Madrid have struck a four-year deal with Bayern Munich defender, David Alaba, who is out of contract with the Bundesliga club in June and can join for absolutely free.
Aside from a pretty hefty salary, most probably.
'Free' is a key part of this agreement with the 28-year-old multi-faceted defender / midfielder, who has won nine league titles and two Champions League trophies with Bayern Munich.
Real Madrid's recent forays into the transfer market have been largely disastrous. Eden Hazard, Luka Jovic, Rodrygo and Eder Militao (remember him?) cost a combined total of $301m with absolutely nothing to reflect that exorbitant cost.
The question now is whether the arrival has anything to do with the current contract wrangle with fellow defender, Sergio Ramos. The Real Madrid captain is free to leave in June, would like a two-year extension to his contract, but the club is only offering one, as per a policy for creaky players over 30.
The answer is that the deal with the incoming Austrian is probably not linked, but it's a useful insurance policy should Ramos stomp off to PSG, for example. Raphael Varane has shown himself to be...wobbly at times, Militao has made just the single start in LaLiga this season, and Nacho is Nacho. Alaba can cover fullback positions if need be as well. And midfield.
The Sports Burst live show will be all over the Alaba move and everything else out there in the soccer world today. Head to our beIN SPORTS USA Facebook page at 12PM ET.
Barcelona digest news of two-game Messi ban for Supercopa super tantrum
Lionel Messi is the hot topic of conversation in Barcelona on Tuesday for a couple of reasons - the first is immediate, the second more medium term.
First off, Lionel Messi has gotten away with just the two-match ban from the Spanish soccer federation for clocking Athletic Club's Asier Villalibre in the dying moments of the Spanish Supercopa final.
It could have been quite a lot worse, but it will see Messi missing Barcelona's Copa del Rey game against Cornella on Thursday and Sunday's LaLiga match with Elche.
Stretching a metaphor to near breaking point, Leonardo revealed that his club was "sat at the big table of those who are following the situation closely. In fact, no, we are not yet seated but we have a chair reserved just in case."
Real Madrid and Barcelona pick up wins in LaLiga midweek round
A midweek round of action in LaLiga begins today. The good news for Real Madrid and Barcelona is that both clubs have already won their games against Athletic Club and Real Sociedad respectively.
No, you didn't miss something yesterday. Both matches were played in December. Naturally.
There is a bit of a relegation six-pointer between Valladolid and Elche getting the day underway on beIN SPORTS at 12:50PM ET, followed by Sevilla looking to charge into the Champions League places with a victory at Alaves from 3:20PM ET.
Super Tuesday coming up ⚽️ pic.twitter.com/KVYGFBNMxP— beIN SPORTS USA (@beINSPORTSUSA) January 19, 2021
Atletico Madrid are in action on Thursday in a game at Eibar - a win will put the Rojiblancos seven points ahead of Real Madrid and still with a game in hand.
And keep a look out for Mesut Ozil being confirmed as the brand new star player for Fenerbahce today. The German playmaker is in Istanbul and a deal is very imminent, potentially in time for a debut match in the Turkish Super Lig on Thursday.
Oh, and keep a look out as well for more free, international soccer - with fans in the stands! - as the African Nations Championship continues our on beIN XTRA channel. Guinea are taking on Namibia at 2PM ET.