Premier League • England

Next Liverpool manager: Edwards turns screw on Xabi Alonso with bold move for much-loved €60m star

Prospective new Liverpool manager Xabi Alonso and, inset, Bayer Leverkusen defender Piero Hincapie

Prospective new Liverpool manager Xabi Alonso and, inset, Bayer Leverkusen defender Piero Hincapie

Liverpool are reportedly turning up the heat on new manager target Xabi Alonso by making clear their intentions to bring a star to Anfield alongside him and help get his prospective Reds revolution off to a dream start.

The Merseysiders will say an emotional goodbye to Jurgen Klopp some time in the next three months. The date of his final match in charge is yet to be determined and will either fall at home to Wolves on Sunday May 19 in the Premier League, or three days later in the Dublin-staged Europa League final on Wednesday May 22.

And with the Carabao Cup already locked away in the Anfield trophy cabinet for the season, Liverpool hope to win two more trophies before the curtain comes down on the German’s reign and ensure his departure from Merseyside comes off the back of their most-successful season yet under his command.

Behind the scenes, owners FSG are working hard on landing on a successor to Klopp and have seemingly installed Alonso as their number one choice.


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However, persuading him to quit Bayer Leverkusen, who are currently top of the Bundesliga and in a very strong position to end Bayern Munich’s 11-year reign as champions, will be no easy feat.

To that end, TEAMtalk has exclusively revealed that, while the offer of a three-year deal is on the table for Alonso, the Spaniard does have sizeable concerns about taking the job at this stage in his career and stepping into the sizeable shoes of Klopp.

Next Liverpool manager: Ruben Amorim is second choice

As a result, we’ve also learned that Liverpool continue to track their first-choice alternative in Ruben Amorim, with the Sporting Lisbon coach also steering his side to the top of their domestic league and very much in FSG’s thoughts.

Our claims about Amorim were also backed up on Monday by Fabrizio Romano, who claims the 39-year-old is ‘one to keep an eye on’ as the Reds step up that hunt for their next manager.

We know many clubs will be busy with hiring new managers over the summer, that Bayern and Liverpool will fight for Xabi Alonso.

“I told you before and I’ll keep repeating it…. Keep an eye on Ruben Amorim, the Sporting manager, because many clubs are looking at him, including in England as he’s appreciated in the Premier League.”

Romano continued: “We already say that he could be another candidate for Liverpool in addition to Xabi Alonso, but we know that Bayern are looking at both of them. Let’s see what’s gonna happen.”

The hunt for Liverpool’s new manager is now in the hands of Michael Edwards, who is back at Anfield for a second stint in charge and this time with the fancy-new title and more far-reaching role of CEO of football.

And while his first mission will be the appointment of a new sporting director to replace Jorg Schmadtke, who departed Anfield at the end of January, work is very much going on too for the arrival of Klopp’s heir.


Edwards has cunning plan to lure Alonso by signing Bayer star too

Edwards is a man with a fierce reputation and well known in the game for both getting his own way but in also being a master negotiator.

It was he who negotiated the £142m sale of Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona and used the funds to sign both Virgil van Dijk and Alisson Becker.

It was also Edwards’ decision to bring together and sign all of famed front three Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mo Salah, the last of whom is still going strong at Anfield.

Now it’s reported that the 44-year-old is stepping up his hunt to bring Alonso to Anfield – and is now undertaking a different approach to convince the Spaniard to make the move.

That’s after HITC claimed that Edwards has also made a clear approach to bring in Alonso’s much-loved defender Piero Hincapie with him to Anfield.

The Ecuador defender is rated in the €60m (£51.3m) bracket and has also been the subject of interest from both Real Madrid and Tottenham.

However, it’s reported that Edwards has now made clear his plans to activate the 22-year-old’s exit clause this summer and fix a long-standing question mark over Liverpool’s need for a new central defender.

Hincapie ticks many boxes for Liverpool given he can cover the left-side of central defence and all of Jarell Quansah, Virgil van Dijk, Ibrahima Konate and Joe Gomez being right-footed, though Van Dijk, of course, often taking on that left-sided position.

Alonso a huge fan of Hincapie

The 30-times capped Ecuador international is regarded as a key component for Bayer, having appeared in 26 matches across all competitions and being a part of a defence that has shipped just 18 goals in 26 games and having yet to lose a game this season.

Speaking about the player last year, Alonso said: “I think he’s a very modern defender, he can play in different positions. He’s served us as a full-back in recent games but has also been the left centre-back when we’ve played with a back three.

“He’s aggressive, is making better decisions when he has the ball, backs himself more to play diagonal passes and get in behind. It motivates me to have a player with his potential and desire because he helps you and you help him. He’s a great player.”

Now it’s claimed Edwards wants to secure the signing of Hincapie as quickly as possible and in the hope it could also persuade Alonso to make the move to Anfield too.

That would potentially get a new era at Anfield off to a perfect start and help the Spaniard both ease into the job and continue Klopp’s fine legacy.

Alonso currently has a hugely-impressive 66.67% win rate at Leverkusen, having collected victories in 50 of his 75 games in charge.

READ MOREComparing Xabi Alonso’s superb Bundesliga record with Jurgen Klopp’s