How Potential Transfer of Xabi Alonso to Bayern Munich Affects Real Madrid

Tim CollinsFeatured ColumnistAugust 28, 2014

MADRID, SPAIN - MARCH 16: Xabi Alonso of Real Madrid CF celebrates their third goal during the La Liga match between Real Madrid CF and RCD Mallorca at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium on March 16, 2013 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)
Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

At what point do similar events become an identifiable trend?

In the wake of Angel Di Maria's departure to Manchester United, Xabi Alonso also appears set to flee the Bernabeu, ready to switch from Real Madrid to Bayern Munich. 

Seemingly dissatisfied with his sudden, secondary status amid Toni Kroos' arrival, and in line for a considerable hike in salary in Bavaria, per Marca, the 32-year-old looks set to add another high-profile exit to Los Blancos' eventful summer. 

Of course, the reasons behind Alonso's wish to leave Madrid appear obvious: With Kroos, Luka Modric and James Rodriguez appearing to be Carlo Ancelotti's preferred midfield trio, playing time could be limited for the Spaniard in 2014-15. 

Additionally, if there is validity to Marca's report, the veteran is likely to view the switch to the Bundesliga champions as his last opportunity to sign a sizeable contract. 

Alonso's departure will undoubtedly have a significant impact on the European champions. One only needs to remember the cohesive vacuum his absence in the Champions League final left behind. 

Without him, the balance of Ancelotti's XI is tipped alarmingly forward; the qualities inherent in Alonso aren't found elsewhere in Real Madrid's squad.  

Yet, the significance of the former Spain international's impending exit doesn't feel limited to the confines of the white lines.  

Instead, Alonso's search for a new home appears indicative of a quiet disillusionment that has seemingly grown within the squad over the course of the summer.

MADRID, SPAIN - APRIL 22:  Xabi Alonso of Real Madrid CF looks on during his press conference at Valdebebas training ground ahead of the UEFA Champions League semi-final first leg match against Bayern Munich on April 22, 2014 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by
Denis Doyle/Getty Images

Sure, the departure of Di Maria and imminent farewell of Alonso don't signify nearing doom for the continental champions, but take time to consider all those who've been linked with discontent at the Bernabeu in recent months. 

Di Maria's saga, of course, spanned the entire summer, seeing the Argentinian publish a rather scathing open letter in Marca following his move to Old Trafford. Alonso, described as "a vital player for Madrid" by Ancelotti, is now also headed for the exits. 

Elsewhere, Sami Khedira has rejected a new deal, Alvaro Arbeloa "wants to leave Madrid," according to AS (h/t Football Espana), Raphael Varane is reportedly unhappyAsier Illarramendi's future is uncertain (per Marca) and Diego Lopez was forcibly shown the door, as highlighted by Goal's Ben Hayward

Back-up options many of those may be, but such regular reports of disquiet are what you'd expect from a club in free fall, not from a group crowned as Europe's best just three months ago. 

LISBON, PORTUGAL - MAY 24:  Suspended Xabi Alonso of Real Madrid reacts ahead of extra time during the UEFA Champions League Final between Real Madrid and Atletico de Madrid at Estadio da Luz on May 24, 2014 in Lisbon, Portugal.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Thus, despite stripping Real of one of their few holding options in midfield, Alonso's potential switch to Germany feels likely to impact the psyche of Real Madrid's squad as much as—if not more than—the composition of the XI.

Imagine Los Blancos' stars striding onto the training ground after the Spaniard's exit: Wouldn't it be natural for many of them to ponder the deeper roots of the respective departures of Di Maria and Alonso, two of the three cornerstones of the team's midfield last season?

There's no way that doesn't come into one's thoughts. 

Surely, players must have noticed that it doesn't seem to matter how prominent you are in the manager's lineup (Di Maria, Alonso, Lopez and Mesut Ozil), there's always a new flavour of the month, a new hot property ready to be bought to supersede the incumbents (Rodriguez, Kroos, Keylor Navas and Gareth Bale).

Manu Fernandez/Associated Press

While that perpetual hunt for glamour is the club's way, it does little for togetherness, continuity and chemistry. The precedent set in the Spanish capital suggests that everyone—bar the Galacticos—is expendable. 

Is it any wonder, then, that the world's most powerful club has only won their own domestic league once in the last six years? And just three times in more than a decade?

There are things you can't buy that contribute to winning. 

Daniel Ochoa de Olza/Associated Press

It must be acknowledged that wages and the length of contracts offered by the various parties influence these matters. Such is the case in Alonso's impending move to Bayern.

Yet, it's also impossible to ignore that prominent Real Madrid players continue to depart in dissatisfaction, feeling underappreciated and underpaid as shiny, but largely unnecessary, stars repeatedly arrive. 

These events have indeed become a trend, the reason why reports of uneasiness continue to swirl around what should be a content squad, why those at the Bernabeu carry an added tension and uncertainty with them than players at other clubs. 

Alonso is the one pushing for the move in this case, yes. But it's his club's actions this summer that have forced him to, making him look elsewhere after being made redundant by another round of extravagant signings.

In doing so, Real have likely forced doubt into the minds of others, once more setting the precedent that few men truly settle in the Spanish capital.

Players, of course, rarely enjoy such insecurity, and it's perhaps why Real Madrid continue to fall short of establishing a dynasty of unrelenting dominance.