Xabi Alonso confirms Liverpool position as ‘first approach made’ to replace Jurgen Klopp

Bayer Leverkusen boss Xabi Alonso is ‘happy’ at the club and is firmly focused on winning the Bundesliga title after Liverpool contacted him about taking over from Jurgen Klopp in the summer.

The Reds are in search for a new manager to succeed Klopp, who confirmed last month he will be leaving the club at the end of the season.

The German has won the Premier League, Champions League, FA Cup among other major trophies since replacing Brendan Rodgers at Anfield in October 2015.

Liverpool will move on to their next manager this summer and Alonso is thought to be at the top of their shortlist of targets.

According to Foot Mercato, contact has already been made between Liverpool and Alonso as the club look to figure out whether he would be interested in a return to Merseyside.

However, the report added that Alonso is content in Leverkusen and hopes to lead them to their first-ever Bundesliga title.

They currently sit top of the table after 20 matches, two points ahead of second-place Bayern Munich. Leverkusen can extend that gap if they beat Bayern in a crunch clash on Saturday.

Speaking last month, Alonso distanced himself from the vacancy. He said:

“I was surprised by Jurgen’s news. I have huge respect for Jurgen and Liverpool. At the moment I am really happy here and enjoying my work. Each day and game is a challenge. We are in an intense and beautiful journey here at Leverkusen.

“Speculation is normal, but I have great respect and admiration for what Jurgen has done at Liverpool in the last nine years, and how he’s done it. He has a connection with the fans, he’s done a great job, but my focus is here at Bayer Leverkusen.

“I have great motivation to do a good job here, I’m very happy with the team, with the club, with everything, so that’s my focus. My focus isn’t on May, it’s on tomorrow ahead of our game against Gladbach and helping my players to be ready. But what I will say is it was surprising what happened at Liverpool with Jurgen leaving.”

Alonso, who spent five years at Liverpool as a player, started his managerial career with Real Sociedad B. He spent three years in the role, winning just over 40 per cent of his matches before leaving in May 2022.

Five months later, Alonso was handed his first senior management position at Leverkusen and he guided his team to the Europa League semi-final in his first season. In May 2023, Alonso signed a new three-year contract with the German club and they have kicked on since, starting this campaign superbly.

Leverkusen stretched their unbeaten run to 30 games in all competitions after they earned a last-gasp 3-2 victory over Stuttgart in the DFB-Pokal on Tuesday. Alonso’s men are also through to the last 16 of the Europa League after winning all six of their group fixtures.



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