Liverpool have reportedly lined up club legend Xabi Alonso as the man to replace manager Jurgen Klopp. The German is apparently reluctant to sign a new deal at Anfield, as he aspires to manage the Germany national team.
Klopp has had resounding success at Anfield since joining the club in 2015. In 1037 games across competitions, the German has registered 569 wins, losing 238. He entered club folklore by leading the Reds to their first league title (2020) in the Premier League era.
Jurgen Klopp has won every title on offer at Anfield, except the UEFA Europa League, which his side are competing in for only the second time. He’s contracted to the club till 2026, but according to Christian Falk of BILD (via Four Four Two), Klopp is keen on international management.
As per Falk, Jurgen Klopp is reluctant to commit long-term to the Reds, as the manager wants to take charge of Germany. It’s pertinent to note that Klopp spurned the opportunity to do so in September before Julian Nagelsmann was appointed.
“I don’t think Liverpool have pressured him on this,” as per Falk. “It was surprising for everyone that Jurgen signed his last contract so early, so I don’t think this will be discussed until he’s closer to the end of his current terms.
“You see what is happening in Germany with the national team. I think this is a big target for his future, so that’s why he won’t sign a new contract so early.”
According to transfer journalist Fabrizio Romano, the Reds are eyeing Bayer Leverkusen boss Alonso, whose team are atop the Bundesliga after 12 games.
Xabi Alonso enjoyed a successful spell at Liverpool. Renowned as one of the finest midfielders of his generation, the Leverkusen boss made 210 appearances across competitions for the Reds, contributing 18 goals and 20 assists.
One of those goals came in the memorable come-from-behind UEFA Champions League final win over AC Milan in 2005. Losing 3-0 at half-time in Istanbul, Steven Gerrard and Vladimir Smicer reduced arrears for the Reds before Alonso missed his 60th-minute penalty but made no mistake with the rebound.
Alonso would go on to win the competition again, with Real Madrid in 2014, before he called time on his playing career with Bayern Munich following the 2016-17 campaign.