Liverpool rule out Xabi Alonso to succeed Jurgen Klopp - sources


Xabi Alonso, Head Coach of Bayer Leverkusen, is seen during the Bundesliga match between Bayer 04 Leverkusen and VfL Wolfsburg at BayArena on March 10, 2024 in Leverkusen, Germany. 

Liverpool have abandoned plans to pursue Bayer Leverkusen coach Xabi Alonso as a replacement for Jurgen Klopp as manager, sources told ESPN, with Brighton's Roberto De Zerbi and Sporting CP coach Ruben Amorim regarded as leading candidates for the Anfield job.

Alonso, a Champions League winner as a player with Liverpool in 2005, is on the verge of guiding Leverkusen to their first-ever Bundesliga title this season.

With Klopp announcing publicly in January that he would step down as Liverpool manager this summer -- the former Borussia Dortmund coach informed the club of his intentions in November -- Alonso had emerged as the strong favourite to move to Anfield because of his connection as a player and his impressive work at the BayArena.

With Bayern Munich also searching for a new manager due to Thomas Tuchel leaving the Allianz Arena at the end of this season, Alonso had also emerged as the leading candidate for the job in Bavaria.

Alonso also played for Bayern during his illustrious career.

Honorary Bayern president Uli Hoeness said Thursday that hiring Alonso this summer is "probably impossible," and now sources at Liverpool have told ESPN that the club have chosen to pursue other targets because of an understanding that Alonso is ready to remain at Leverkusen for at least one more season.

Sources have said that Michael Edwards, who returned to Liverpool as the club's CEO of football earlier this month having previously been sporting director, had already identified alternative options to Alonso.

De Zerbi, whose Brighton team travel to Anfield in the Premier League on Sunday, has strong support within the Liverpool hierarchy.

While De Zerbi's track record at Brighton has marked him out as the new favourite, Sporting coach Amorim is also seen as a genuine contender to succeed Klopp.

Alonso, meanwhile, is expected to be a target for Real Madrid when Carlo Ancelotti's contract expires in 2026.

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