Premier League • England

Next Liverpool boss: Several serious Xabi Alonso doubts emerge as FSG step up hunt for No 2 option

Xabi Alonso and Ruben Amorim are both manager targets for Liverpool

Xabi Alonso and Ruben Amorim are both manager targets for Liverpool

Bayer Leverkusen boss Xabi Alonso has several reservations over taking the Liverpool manager’s job if the club make a move for him to succeed Jurgen Klopp, with FSG now ready to step up their quest to appoint their second-choice option for the job.

Klopp is leaving his role at Liverpool at the end of the season after his shock announcement last month that he would be quitting Anfield for a rest. After close to nine glorious years on Merseyside, Klopp’s legacy will be that of one of the most-successful managers the club has ever had – some claim given the elite competition for such a title at Anfield down the years.

With the hunt well and truly on for his successor, FSG have appointed a man described as the ‘world’s greatest leader’ to aid FSG with their search.

As a result, former Reds midfielder Alonso has been touted as the leading candidate to replace Klopp due to his connections to the Merseyside club and his impressive work at Leverkusen this season. To that end, Alonso has been told he pretty much ticks all the boxes for the club’s American owners.

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Alonso has guided Bayer to the top of the Bundesliga table – eight points clear of Bayern Munich and they are on for a potential Treble as they are still in the German Cup and the Europa League. They could yet face Liverpool at the some point in the competition, with the two sides kept apart in Friday’s draw for the last 16.

The Spaniard is set to be in huge demand following his success at Bayer with Liverpool now joined by Bayern Munich in pursuit of Alonso as they search for a replacement for Thomas Tuchel for next season.

Major Xabi Alonso reservations on Liverpool job revealed

However, despite Liverpool’s strong interest in Alonso, and having already seemingly opened talks over his appointment, TEAMtalk can reveal his appointment at Anfield is by no means a certainty.

Indeed, we can reveal that, as it stands Alonso is in no rush to make a decision on his future as he is happy in Leverkusen and is focused on finishing the season strongly with them.

The 42-year-old would consider any approach from Liverpool in his services, but sources have told TEAMtalk that Alonso has concerns over replacing such a legendary figure as Klopp at Anfield.

Alonso is aware succeeding Klopp is a hard act to follow at Liverpool following his roll of honour during his time as manager and that he himself is still relatively inexperienced in the coaching world.

Alonso’s family is also happy and settled in Germany and that could play a major influence on where he decides to work next season.

Unfortunately for Liverpool it could be a case of right man, wrong time for Alonso with the highly-rated tactician not ruling out staying at Leverkusen for at least another season despite the growing clamour for him from some of Europe’s elite clubs.

FSG ready to move for No 2 option Ruben Amorim

With FSG well aware of Alonso’s doubts over taking the top job, we can also reveal that the Reds are preparing for the worst and are also ready to step up their interest in the man seen as second on their wanted list: Ruben Amorim.

The Sporting Lisbon coach has won many admirers for the work he has done with the Portuguese giants, steering them to the Primeira Liga title in 2020/21 and also into the last 16 of the Europa League this season.

Currently contracted to 2026, the 39-year-old, who has earned comparisons with Jose Mourinho for his no-nonsense approach, has a big release clause that would mean any approach from Liverpool would hit them seriously hard in the pocket

To that end, the Reds would have to pay €20m (£17.1m) to buy out Amorim from his current deal, though the clause would only be active come the end of the season.

That clause also raises to an eye-watering €30m (£25.7m) if a rival Portuguese club made any attempt to lure him away from the Estádio José Alvalade.

Liverpool bosses though are not put off by that and sources have indicated that Amorim has been listed as their preferred potential alternative to Alonso, where he is seen as the perfect alternative.

Amorim has been on the radar of several major European clubs for well over a year and was in the running for Chelsea before they ultimately chose Mauricio Pochettino.

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