Premier League • England

Next Liverpool manager: Former Anfield star can only see one man replacing Klopp who ‘ticks all the boxes’

Xabi Alonso Bayer Leverkusen coach

Xabi Alonso is on Liverpool's radar to replace Klopp

Former Liverpool defender Stephen Warnock can only see one man replacing legendary boss Jurgen Klopp at Anfield this summer, as he “ticks all the boxes”.

The Reds are reported to have already started doing their due diligence on who could replace the hugely popular German, who revealed his shock decision to walk away from the club in late January.

Since then numerous names have been mentioned as potential successors, but former Reds midfielder Xabi Alonso remains the one of the lips of most Liverpool fans given the job he is currently doing at Bayer Leverkusen.

The German side moved five points clear of Harry Kane’s Bayern Munich after thrashing the reigning Bundesliga champions 3-0 on Saturday evening.

Indeed, Alonso‘s side remain unbeaten in the league this season and also won all six of their group games in the Europa League.

His playing style has also been lauded, with marauding wing-backs that have caused carnage for opposition across Europe central to the club’s results this season.

But despite all the bluster about Alonso just walking away from Leverkusen and heading straight back to Merseyside this summer, there are also other factors at play.

A report that emerged on Monday suggest that Barcelona are also ready to make their own move for the former Real Madrid man.

Catalan outlet Sport states that sections of the Barca hierarchy are determined to land Alonso amid the fantastic work he is doing at Leverkusen.

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Meanwhile, Leverkusen’s managing director of sport, Simon Rolfes, is confident that the Spaniard is going nowhere this summer and will stay with the club.

“Yes. I’m sure,” Rolfes told SPORT1 when asked if his manager would be remaining next season.

“One, is the contract. The other thing is how comfortable he feels, the family, himself and that he knows what he has in the club. He also has a very good team, we will have a very good perspective next year and there is no change in the team.”

However, despite those more negative takes on where Alonson will be next season, Warnock is confident the 42-year-old will be leading the team out of Anfield tunnel for the 2024/25 campaign.

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Xabi Alonso Bayer Leverkusen boss

Xabi Alonso remains the favourite for the Liverpool job

Asked if he sees any scenario in which Alonso is not the new Liverpool next manager next season, Warnock told Sky Sports News: “No, not really.

“I think he ticks all the boxes. Former player, doing extremely well at Leverkusen and a potential Bundesliga winner.

“If he comes off the back of that he comes with good pedigree. I think even the job he did last season in taking Leverkusen from second to bottom to then qualify for European places shows you that he’s got that ability to get his messages to the players and then also get it out onto the pitch.

“That can be a difficult thing for elite players, and I call him an elite player. He was world-class and sometimes they find that hard to transition into management as what they could do on a pitch, others can’t do and they find that difficult when they can’t do it.

“He seems very cool, very calm and relaxed on the touchline and what he’s doing is a magnificent job. But he’s definitely the firm favourite for Liverpool, and Liverpool fans will be happy with that.”

The Reds are back in action on Saturday when they head to Brentford in the Premier League looking to maintain their lead at the top of the table.