Liverpool might have to watch on as No 1 managerial target Xabi Alonso heads elsewhere, with Barcelona incredibly joining the chase for the impressive young coach.
Liverpool are on the hunt for a new manager after Jurgen Klopp announced his decision to leave at the end of the season. Klopp adores Liverpool FC, the city as a whole and Reds supporters but feels he is lacking the energy needed to continue succeeding at the highest level.
The German therefore wants to take a break away from the game and spend some time with his family before returning in 2025 or 2026, potentially with the German national team.
Although, Barca are also in the market for a new manager after Xavi decided to step away from the role this summer, and this has seen the Spanish giants contact Klopp about completing a U-turn and potentially moving to Catalonia straight away.
Barca president Joan Laporta knows this will be tough though and is also eyeing up several other highly rated coaches to fill the role. His decision could see the Blaugrana pile more misery on Liverpool and their owners Fenway Sports Group by snaring Alonso.
According to Catalan outlet Sport, sections of the Barca hierarchy are determined to land Alonso amid the fantastic work he is doing at Bayer Leverkusen.
The 42-year-old enjoyed his best result yet as Leverkusen manager on Saturday, as his team beat Bayern Munich 3-0 to go five points clear at the top of the Bundesliga. And Leverkusen did not just beat Bayern, they absolutely tore them apart.
That result has given Barca officials the clearest indication yet that Alonso is poised to become one of the best managers in world football. Barca feel they can convince Alonso to join them as he spent part of his childhood living in Barcelona, so it would not take him much time at all to adjust to life there.
Liverpool must fight off Barcelona for Xabi Alonso
Liverpool will be bitterly disappointed if their former midfielder heads to Barca. Alonso would be a fantastic replacement for Klopp as he is already loved by the Liverpool fans and plays an exciting brand of football that they want to see.
Fabrizio Romano revealed over the weekend that Liverpool ‘know everything’ about the Spaniard’s contract situation and how they will go about appointing him. However, Romano added that Bayern could yet enter the frame themselves.
“It’s important to say that Xabi Alonso, former Bayern player, has always been appreciated by some people at the club and also with the Bundesliga, fantastic experience he’s having at Bayer Leverkusen. He could be a future candidate for the Bayern job,” the transfer expert said.
“But let me say, that from what I’m hearing, since weeks, it’s not something happening this weekend, these days, it’s something that’s already happened weeks ago, Liverpool are well informed on the situation of Xabi Alonso.
“Liverpool know everything about his contract situation at Bayer Leverkusen, how to find a way to appoint Xabi Alonso potentially in the summer. So Liverpool are really well informed on the situation of Xabi Alonso.
“Then we have to wait for the new Liverpool director to decide altogether how, when and in which way to attack the situation for Xabi Alonso as their new manager.
“We have to see if they decide to go for another one because there is a shortlist. It’s not just Xabi Alonso. But for sure, he’s the main candidate for Liverpool. This is not new.”
Alternatively, a Germany icon has suggested Alonso remains at Leverkusen for a little while longer before joining a different European giant, with Liverpool, Barca and Bayern set to be snubbed.