David Alaba has confirmed he will leave Bayern Munich when his contract expires at the end of the season.
Versatile defender Alaba came through the youth ranks at Bayern but will end his 13-year association with the club after the 2020-21 campaign.
The 28-year-old announced his decision at a news conference on Tuesday, though he did not disclose what his next destination would be.
Alaba has been heavily linked with a switch to Real Madrid, while Premier League giants Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea have also been credited with an interest.
“I’ve decided for me personally to do something new after this season,” Alaba told a news conference.
“I will leave the club and it was not an easy decision, it was very difficult because I have been here for 13 years and I really identify with this club, it’s close to my heart and I’m very grateful to the club for everything.
“I have not decided which club I’m going to join yet. This will happen in the future.
“In the 13 years I experienced incredibly beautiful moments, the treble in 2013, my debut, the treble last season. These are all moments that are very difficult to describe.
“The 13 years behind me are difficult to summarise in words. It’s been an incredible, beautiful and intense time and I’m really grateful.”
Alaba made his debut in a DFB-Pokal meeting with Greuther Furth in February 2010, becoming the club’s youngest player in history at the time and setting up a goal for Franck Ribery within a minute of entering the pitch.
The Austrian was 17 years, seven months and 18 days old when he made his debut, but Jamal Musiala is now Bayern’s youngest debutant.
Alaba has gone on to make 415 appearances for the Bavarian giants, scoring 33 goals and supplying 44 assists in all competitions.
He insisted his relationship with Bayern was still strong and rejected that money was his motivation for leaving despite what became a public contract negotiation.
“No [it was not financial],” Alaba said. “I have four, five, six, seven years left and that’s what I thought about. What is the next step going to be in my career? That’s what I based my decision on.
“Internally I always had a good relationship with the responsible people and I still do. This club is my family.
“I didn’t worry about that [my contract compared to senior team-mates] at all. We still had several talks following the withdrawal of the contract offer.
“Of course there was a development and the situation evolved, but I decided what I want my path to be.
“Everyone did [fight for me to stay]. Really. Everyone. That’s why I’m so grateful. And that’s why it was really, truly, a really difficult decision.
“That’s why I did want to take my time to make my mind up. You can’t decide it on a whim. I’ve been here for 13 years and I’ve been at home here.”
Alaba has racked up 24 trophies, lifting the Bundesliga trophy nine times and winning the Champions League twice – both of those European successes forming part of trebles.