Real Madrid confirmed the signing of Austrian defender David Alaba from Bayern Munich on a free transfer.

The 28-year-old left the German Bundesliga champions at the end of the 2020-21 campaign and has decided to sign for Los Blancos.

The Austria international who can play in multiple positions including left-back, central defence or in midfield, chose to end his long association with Bayern at the end of the 2020-21 campaign.

Several leading European clubs had been linked with him, but Alaba has chosen to continue his career at the Santiago Bernabeu in Madrid.

Real confirmed that Alaba has signed a five-year deal at the club and will join up with his new teammates after the European Championships, at which Alaba will be a key figure in the Austrian side.

Alaba arrives at Real as one of the most decorated footballers in Europe, having won 28 different titles after joining Bayern way back in 2008. He is a two-time UEFA Champions League winner and has won 10 consecutive Bundesliga titles with the Bavarians.

He played 431 games for Bayern – a record for a non-German footballer – scoring 33 goals, and was named in UEFA Team of the Year three times.

After declaring his intention to leave Bayern earlier this season, Alaba became one of the most sought-after footballers in the world. Although he arrives at Real one day after the departure of manager Zinedine Zidane, he will be key for whoever takes over given his long-established reputation as a top-quality player in multiple positions.

Alaba has played as a central defender in recent seasons and could serve as either a partner or replacement for one of Real’s centre-back pairing of Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane, both of whom have been linked with a move this summer.

The Austrian was more often used at left-back before the last couple of years and has also played in more advanced roles when needed. For his country, he often operates as a left-winger.

Alaba is the first signing of what could be a busy summer for Real Madrid, who ended the season without a trophy as city rivals Atletico Madrid won La Liga and Barcelona won the Copa del Rey.

Madrid were also knocked out of the Champions League in the semifinals by eventual champions Chelsea.