It was Real Madrid who won the race to sign the talented defender, who issued a reminder of his undoubted quality during Austria’s Euro 2020 Round of 16 defeat to Italy.
Listed as major favourites to come out on top, Roberto Mancini’s side struggled to find a way past the resolute Austrian defence and could consider themselves fortunate to take the match to extra-time.
Italy were relieved to see VAR intervene in the 65th minute of the match as Marko Arnautovic headed home from close range – an opportunity that arose following a powerful header inside the area by Alaba.
His emphatic individual performance went somewhat under the radar due to his country conceding two goals in extra-time, as Italy’s second-half substitutions began to make an impact on the game.
Alaba was able to keep the likes of Ciro Immobile and Lorenzo Insigne at bay for the opening 90 minutes, but persistence eventually paid off as Mancini’s men continued to probe.
The Austria captain led by example all evening at Wembley, painting a clear picture as to why so many sides were keen to tie him down to a deal.
Manchester United and Chelsea were two teams listed as potential destinations for the ten-time Bundesliga winner, with both teams yet to recruit in this position.
It is unlikely that either side will find an option as strong and dependable as Alaba, who put in a performance that deserved much more than a cruel early exit from the Euros.
Real Madrid may well have lost one leader in Sergio Ramos, but they will soon have a new figure ready to take centre stage at the Bernabeu.