Livescore Thursday, April 25

Liverpool and Bayern Munich expect Xabi Alonso to remain at Bayer Leverkusen beyond this season with both clubs pursuing other managerial targets.

Liverpool have been aware for some time that Alonso was unlikely to leave Leverkusen this summer.

Alonso, 42, is currently in his first senior head coaching role with the German club but has enjoyed almost instant success with his side top of the Bundesliga table and unbeaten across all competitions this season.

Outgoing Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp announced in January his intention to leave Anfield at the end of the season after nine years on Merseyside.

His assistant coach Pep Ljinders is not in the running to succeed Klopp. He is on the shortlist to become the new Ajax manager.

Alonso played 210 times for Liverpool between 2004 and 2009, winning the Champions League in 2005 and FA Cup in 2006.

Alonso took charge of Leverkusen in the relegation zone in October 2022 before guiding them to a sixth-placed finish. He was rewarded with a new contract in May that tied him down to June 2026.

This season, Leverkusen are unbeaten in 26 Bundesliga games under Alonso and 10 points clear of Bayern Munich with eight rounds of league action remaining, having won 22 matches and drawn four.

Read more on The Athletic:

Bayern Munich are also pessimistic on their chances of appointing Alonso this summer, as the club seek a successor for Thomas Tuchel, who will step down at the end of the campaign.

Bayern’s honorary president Uli Hoeness admitted the club’s interest in appointing Alonso, but added that his belief was that he would remain at their Bundesliga rivals Leverkusen.

“We’ll have to see if we can do it this year,” he said. “It will be difficult, if not probably impossible.

“[Alonso] is more inclined to stay at Bayer Leverkusen 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.”

Alonso enjoyed a hugely successful playing career that started at Real Sociedad and took in spells with Rafael Benitez at Liverpool as well as Real Madrid in Spain under Carlo Ancelotti and with Pep Guardiola at Bayern Munich in Germany.

He also won the World Cup in 2010 and European Championships twice — in 2008 and 2012 — with Spain.

Following his retirement in 2017, he began his managerial career at Real Sociedad B in 2019 before moving on to Leverkusen for his first senior job in management in October 2022.

“Speculation is normal,” Alonso said of talk linking him with succeeding Klopp earlier this year. “What Jurgen has done in Liverpool I have a lot of respect for and great admiration for what he has done over the last few years.

“He’s achieved a lot. My focus is here at Bayer Leverkusen. I have a lot of motivation to do good work here. I’m very content and happy with the team and the club. So that is my focus.

“My focus is not on May, it is on tomorrow and Gladbach and on helping my players be ready for tomorrow. We’ll see what happens at Liverpool.”

Klopp joined Liverpool in 2015 and has gone on to win the Premier League, Champions League, FA Cup and League Cup.

He could yet add more honours before his exit at the end of the 2023-24 campaign with Liverpool still competing for the Premier League and Europa League titles, having won this season’s EFL Cup.

They are currently second in the Premier League table, behind leaders Arsenal on goal difference, and will play Italian side Atalanta in the quarter-final of the Europa League.

(Lars Baron/Getty Images)

Read the full article here

Leave A Reply