Premier League • England

Exclusive: Xabi Alonso ready to reject Liverpool as FSG step up plans for Ruben Amorim appointment

Xabi Alonso and Ruben Amorim are Liverpool manager contenders

Xabi Alonso and Ruben Amorim are Liverpool manager contenders

Liverpool fear they may miss out on the appointment of Xabi Alonso as their new manager after an understanding the Spaniard has multiple reasons to reject Anfield, with TEAMtalk revealing that FSG are ready to step up plans for their second option for the job in Ruben Amorim.

The Reds are seeking a replacement for Jurgen Klopp this summer, after the German’s bombshell announcement last month that his time at Anfield would end after close to nine years at the helm. The legacy that Klopp leaves behind is a club that has, arguably, rarely been healthier, giving whomever his successor may be an excellent chance to enjoy continued success with Liverpool.

Getting that call right, though, will likely prove the most important decision of FSG’s 14-year reign, with the Americans appointing a man regarded as the ‘world’s greatest leader’ to try and ensure Liverpool FC get that choice entirely right.

The outstanding choice for the role – and the name on everyone’s lips right now – appears to be Alonso, with the former midfielder enjoying a stellar season in his first senior management role with Bayer Leverkusen.

DON’T MISS: Five reasons why Xabi Alonso is the perfect heir to Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool

His side won once again on Friday night – a 2-1 success over Mainz at the Bay Arena – to move a commanding 11 points clear of Bayern Munich. The 11-times reigning champions face an important match against RB Leipzig on Saturday to try and reduce the gap back to eight points.

But as it stands, Leverkusen look unstoppable and a first Bundesliga crown in the club’s 119-year history will make for an unbelievable achievement on Alonso‘s CV.

Next Liverpool manager: Right job, wrong time for Xabi Alonso 

The side he has built at Leverkusen are pleasing on the eye, compact, defensively sound and don’t know how to be beaten – merits that make him the ideal candidate for Liverpool.

The Reds are, of course, far from alone in their admiration for Alonso, whom is also the number one pick to become next boss at another of his former clubs in Bayern Munich. The Germans also announced the departure of their manager, Thomas Tuchel, at the season’s end earlier this week, leading to speculation that Alonso is their top target to take the role.

However, sources have indicated to TEAMtalk that Alonso is no hurry to decide on his future and is fully focused right now on putting all his energies into Leverkusen’s push for Premier League glory. We also understand that the Spaniard, as well as his family, are very much settled at the club and happy, having giving no thoughts to moving prior to Klopp’s announcement and the subsequent links to Merseyside.

Furthermore, while Alonso would consider the approach, sources have told us that he feels that the opportunity to replace Klopp might be a near-impossible act to follow and he has concerns about the prospect of taking on a hotseat vacated by a club legend.

Alonso is also well aware that he may lack the experience required to take on such a high-pressure job at this moment in his career, with the Liverpool job ultimately being viewed as ‘right job, wrong time’ for the forward-thinking Spaniard, who is absolutely not opposed to remaining with Leverkusen for at least another season before considering the offers of other such jobs.

Liverpool may turn to No 2 choice Ruben Amorim

Our sources have indicated that FSG are well aware of Alonso’s stance, so are carefully considering both their next move with him – and if and when an official move for his services should be made – as well as other potential options for the job.

Indeed, the likes of Thomas Frank and Roberto De Zerbi both have admiration from within the board at Anfield, as does Ange Postecoglou, though a move for the Aussie boss just a year into his appointment at Tottenham means that appointment is deemed unlikely.

However, the man currently next in line if you will is Sporting Lisbon coach Ruben Amorim, who despite being just 39, has already racked up over 200 games in management.

195 of those have come with Sporting CP, where he not only led the club to the Primeira Liga title in 2020/21, but he also has an incredible 69.74 win percentage record, triumphing in 136 of his games in charge.

We can reveal Amorim has enormously appreciated by Liverpool, where he is currently seen as the preferred alternative to Alonso if the Spaniard rejects the job.

Amorim has a plethora of admirers around the game, and held talks with Chelsea over the summer before Todd Boehly and Co instead opted for Mauricio Pochettino.

However, FSG are also well that any deal for Amorim will hit them hard in the pocket. His deal at the Estádio José Alvalade does not expire until summer 2026, with the exit clause pitched at a mammoth €20m (£17.1m), which does not become active until the end of the season.

That fee rises to €30m (£25.7m) if a rival Portuguese club made any attempt to lure him away from the capital.

FSG, however, are not dissuaded by that figure and could yet make a move for Amorim if indeed Alonso decides to reject them for now.

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