Premier League • England

Next Liverpool manager: Carragher shuts down major Xabi Alonso concern but new Euro titan poses threat

Bayer Leverkusen boss Xabi Alonso

Liverpool want to reunite with Xabi Alonso

Jamie Carragher has endorsed Liverpool making Xabi Alonso their successor to Jurgen Klopp, though the Reds will now face competition from a new European giant in addition to Bayern Munich.

Klopp has announced his decision to leave Liverpool at the end of the season and take a break, which has put the Merseyside giants in the market for a new manager. While Reds chiefs admire the likes of Roberto De Zerbi and Thomas Frank, the current favourite for the role is Alonso.

The Spaniard already has a great relationship with Liverpool fans after helping the club to win the 2005 Champions League during his playing days. This will help him keep the supporters on side, as it will be extremely tricky to follow the great work Klopp has done.

But Alonso also has fantastic managerial credentials, as Bayer Leverkusen recently beat Bayern to go five points clear at the top of the Bundesliga table. They are among the favourites to win the German cup and the Europa League, too.

While Alonso is building up a great reputation in Germany, he is still relatively inexperienced coaching at the top level. This has led to concern that the summer might be too early for him to move to Anfield.

But Carragher, who played alongside Alonso at Liverpool, thinks Reds officials will look past this as the 42-year-old is showing all the signs they want in their next manager.

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“It’s still very early in his managerial career,” Carragher said on CBS Sports (via the Daily Mirror).

“In an ideal world you’d say, ‘It’s Xabi Alonso but he’s had another job, he might have won a Champions League somewhere else, he’s won a league here’ and all these different things.

Xabi Alonso the ‘standout candidate’ for Liverpool – Carragher

“But, where he is right now, I don’t see anyone that would be in front of him in terms of what Liverpool fans want or maybe the Liverpool board want. I don’t know what the Liverpool board want but it just feels like he is the standout candidate.”

In recent weeks, Bayern have generally been viewed as Liverpool’s main challengers for Alonso. Pressure is building on Thomas Tuchel as Bayern fall behind in the title race, while they also lost to Lazio in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie on Wednesday.

Bayern are not strangers to raiding their German rivals for the best players and coaches and are almost certainly keeping tabs on the great work Alonso is doing at Leverkusen. Plus, the former midfielder played for Bayern, so he has a good relationship with their fans, just like at Liverpool.

Although, Liverpool will also have to battle Real Madrid for Alonso, according to an update from Football Insider.

They state that it is possible Alonso will be convinced to remain at Leverkusen for another year before joining Madrid in summer 2025, when current Los Blancos manager Carlo Ancelotti will be in the final year of his contract.

Liverpool, of course, will do all they can to convince Alonso that joining them ahead of the 2024-25 season is the perfect next step for his career.

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