Liverpool

Liverpool

Premier League • England

Next Liverpool manager: FSG finalise Klopp successor to two names as Xabi Alonso drops ‘I don’t care’ update

Bayer Leverkusen manager Xabi Alonso, Liverpool badge

Xabi Alonso could replace Jurgen Klopp as the next Liverpool manager

Liverpool owners FSG have reportedly drawn up a final two-man shortlist of candidates to succeed Jurgen Klopp in the Anfield hotseat, with Fabrizio Romano providing the lowdown and with Xabi Alonso appearing to distance himself from speculation of a return to Merseyside.

Klopp stunned the football world by announcing his decision to quit Anfield at the end of the season after close to nine glorious years as Liverpool manager. Having led the Reds to four major European finals and six trophies, including the Premier League and Champions League, finding a top-class replacement has already developed into one of the biggest stories of 2024.

As it stands, Liverpool are not letting their quest on finding Klopp’s successor get in the way of their task in hand. And with Liverpool dismantling Chelsea 4-1 on Wednesday evening, it seems the players are as determined as the German is to ensure he enjoys a dream finale at Anfield.

Nonetheless, having been armed with the information that Klopp plans to quit in the summer since November, FSG are understood to be working hard behind the scenes on appointing his successor. To that end, due dilligence into a number of suitable candidates has already long since begun.

That race is seemingly led by former Reds midfielder Alonso, who is doing a stellar job in charge of Bundesliga leaders Bayer Leverkusen. Like Liverpool they are also chasing the league title this season, but unlike the Reds, who have 19 triumphs to their name, Leverkusen are chasen the first crown in their 119-year history.

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As such the Reds are focused on not disrupting Alonso from his task in hand, despite seemingly identifying him as their No 1 choice.

Other names have also been mentioned, however, with three Premier League bosses in the form of Roberto De Zerbi, Thomas Frank and Ange Postecoglou all currying favour with various members of Liverpool’s board.

However, after plenty of discussions, the Reds have reportedly drilled their shortlist down to two names, with Romano sharing what he knows with Givemesport.

“I still insist on two names confirmed who are Xabi Alonso and Roberto De Zerbi, who for sure are on the list.

“But I’m sure they will take their time and I’m still sure that Liverpool want to appoint a sporting director before deciding who is going to be the new manager.

“So it’s going to be a new project with many things to decide, not just the manager and this is why I think they’re going to take some time.”

Romano added: “It’s never easy to come into a club like Liverpool and make an impact at the same level of Jurgen Klopp. They will speak internally, they will have a new director and then they will decide who is going to be the new coach.”

 

Xabi Alonso distances himself from Liverpool speculation

The sporting director Romano references will also see Liverpool look to bring in a new man to replace the departing Jorg Schmadtke BEFORE they settle on Klopp’s successor.

A move to bring Michael Edwards back into the fold has failed and reports this week claim they now have interest in West Ham’s Tim Steidten instead.

Alternatively, the Daily Mail now claims that Bournemouth’s Richard Hughes one man currently being touted for the role with FSG impressed by his work at the Vitality Stadium.

Nonetheless, most of the headlines are fixated on whom the Reds will choose to replace Klopp with come the summer.

Understandably, the news is also box office in Germany where Alonso has already responded to news of Klopp’s departure when the news broke last week.

With Bayer pushing hard for the title, Alonso is eager to ensure nothing takes away from his players’ focus.

And after being asked again about the upcoming Liverpool vacancy, Alonso responded with quite a snarly reply.

“I am not in that moment to think about the next step. I’m in a great place, I’m enjoying it and I think it’s the right place. That’s all I can say.”

Alonso added: “What’s going to happen in the future I don’t know and I don’t really care at the moment.”

Alonso has a 63% win ratio at Leverkusen since his appointment in October 2022.

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