Xabi Alonso: Bayer Leverkusen manager not expected to be on Liverpool shortlist, tells Bayern Munich of decision

by 24britishtvMarch 29, 2024, noon 19
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Xabi Alonso has told Bayern Munich he will be remaining as Bayer Leverkusen this summer, reports Sky Germany, with Liverpool already turning their attentions elsewhere.

Alonso was touted by many as a replacement for Jurgen Klopp, who is leaving Anfield at the end of the season, though the Reds were already not expected to include their former midfielder on their shortlist of possible successors.

Bayern Munich were also keen to appoint their former player as a replacement for the departing Thomas Tuchel.
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But the 42-year-old is now believed to be staying with Leverkusen, who he has led to the brink of their first Bundesliga title in his first full season as manager, after informing Bayern's hierarchy of his wishes.

After three years in charge of Real Sociedad's B team, Alonso joined Leverkusen in October 2022, with the side in the bottom half of the Bundesliga.

The 42-year-old engineered an improvement that led to Europa League qualification. In Alonso's second season, Leverkusen are unbeaten in all competitions and set to end Bayern's 11-year dominance of the Bundesliga title.

Liverpool have begun to reshape their hierarchy ahead of appointing a new manager, with Michael Edwards, the former sporting director, returning as owner Fenway Sports Group's CEO of football.

Edwards then recruited Bournemouth's Richard Hughes as sporting director. Hughes helped to appoint Andoni Iraola, who shares an agent with Alonso, as Cherries boss last summer.

Why has Alonso turned down two big clubs?

"Alonso wants to stay at Leverkusen and continue his incredible project which is still in its infancy and is on course to make history. That's not only in the Bundesliga, but they could win a treble and remain unbeaten across all competitions.

"Alonso has been given assurances that he can continue to build - and the team won't be broken apart. He feels there's still so much talent and potential to mine at Leverkusen.

"This decision is more about Alonso rather than the opportunities being presented to him. He wants to stay true to himself and his work. When everyone expected him to sign for Borussia Mönchengladbach, he resisted and extended his contract with Real Sociedad B. He talks about not letting other people control your decisions - you need to do things when you have an intuition, when you feel the time is right and when you think it's your moment. Not when other people say it is.

"I think Alonso feels the Bayern job will come around again. In the time Jurgen Klopp has been at Liverpool, Bayern have had seven different head coaches. In contrast, a shot at the Liverpool job is rare.

"It's unfortunate for him that's it come so soon but Alonso staying at Leverkusen fits perfectly into the timeline of succeeding Carlo Ancelotti at Real Madrid. As much as Leverkusen are happy with this news, so are Real.

"Now there's no guarantees in football and he could suffer a dip next season but essentially, he's backing himself, his ability, his work.

"Another point to make is that Liverpool will digest this development differently from Bayern because they've been very private and respectful over the process of Klopp's successor whereas the German giants were very public and chest-out about Alonso joining them. The narrative coming out of Munich that if he didn't stay at Leverkusen this summer, he would become Bayern manager ignores the reality that his decision is an indictment on them. Alonso is effectively saying he believes Leverkusen can oust them again next season."

Bayern expect to miss out on Alonso

Bayern also believe Alonso will stay with Leverkusen, with Uli Hoeness, their honorary president, telling German broadcaster ARD: "I feel that it will be very difficult to sign Xabi Alonso, not to say probably impossible.

"I can certainly imagine him staying at Bayer Leverkusen to continue his job. [He] is more inclined to stay in view of their current successes because he would not want to leave them behind.

"Let's say if he had two or three more years of success, it would probably be easier to bring him out of there."

Sky Germany reported earlier this month that Bayern had opened discussions with Alonso about a summer move, while Hoeness claimed Real Madrid - as well as Liverpool - were rivalling the German giants for his signature.

Speaking to Ran Sport, he said: "He's proven he can be a coach for the big time.

"Clubs like Liverpool, Real Madrid, Leverkusen and Bayern are working on it."

Sky Germany reported Alonso was Bayern's preferred candidate and believed he was open to returning to the Allianz Arena.

Alonso was expected to cost Bayern between £12.8m and £21.3m this summer. The manager has a £12.8m release clause in his contract but it does not become active until the summer of 2025.

In an exclusive interview with Sky Germany, Max Eberl, Bayern's sporting director, said the club are "getting to know a lot of exciting people" as they continue their search for Tuchel's replacement.

"The search for a coach is ongoing," said Eberl. "But I won't go into individual names. It's not my style to discuss these topics in public.
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"It's clear that we need a coach from the summer onwards and it's also clear we're now having very intense discussions and getting to know a lot of exciting people.

"We'll try to make the best possible decision for Bayern. What's the point of rushing now? It's the beginning of April. We still have a bit of time."

Like Liverpool, Bayern have also been credited with an interest in Brighton's Roberto De Zerbi, and Eberl said: "In the past, I've always tried to find coaches who fit the club.

"The best coach might not be a good fit for Bayern. We have to find the coach who fits best. We think about that a lot.

"What is Bayern? What is the philosophy and identity? What do we need? I have to know the club.

"What is the history of the coach? How did he play football ? How did he deal with transfers? Which players did he bring in? How did he deal with guys? Did he already have a big club? What languages ​​does he speak?

"It cannot be brushed off the table that things could become a little more difficult for Bayern if he speaks neither German nor English."

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