Premier League • England

Next Liverpool manager: Monumental update thrills FSG as dream Klopp successor is ‘cleared’ to move

Jurgen Klopp could be succeeded by Bayer Leverkusen coach Xabi Alonso as Liverpool manager

Jurgen Klopp could be succeeded by Xabi Alonso as Liverpool manager

Liverpool have been given a brilliant update on their apparent desire to name Xabi Alonso as the successor to Jurgen Klopp after one of the club’s former midfielders appeared to clear the path for his appointment with a solid update.

Klopp shook Merseyside and the entire football world on Friday when he announced in a video released on club media that he would depart as Liverpool manager at the end of the season. Citing ‘exhaustion’ as the reason, the exit of the German has reverberated around the globe and left many wondering what the Reds do next.

Clearly aware of the struggles both Arsenal faced when Arsene Wenger walked away and, perhaps more evidentally, Manchester United suffered when Sir Alex Ferguson quit, Liverpool hope they will not suffer a similar falling off their perch.

The German, quite simply, will go down as a club legend. Having steered Liverpool to four European finals and six trophies including, both the Champions League and Premier League, the club will simply not feel the same without Klopp at the helm next season.

But like everything in life, all good things must come to an end, and now FSG are considering the merits of a number of potential successors.

With news of Klopp’s exit setting in on Friday, this article here examined the leading five candidates who were immediately placed in frame for the top job at Liverpool.

And since then, it has very quickly emerged that former midfielder Alonso, who is currently doing a stellar job in charge of Bayer Leverkusen who are top of the Bundesliga, has emerged as the number one candidate to take charge.

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However, the Reds do have other names under consideration too, with The Athletic’s James Pearce naming three Premier League bosses – Roberto Di Zerbi, Thomas Frank and Ange Postecoglou – who would also come under strong consideration by owners FSG.

Despite all that, Alonso is, quite simply, regarded as the club’s No 1 choice to take charge.

And now a former Reds midfielder, and a man who knows him well, has seemingly cleared Alonso to take the charge at Anfield if the call comes for his services.

Hamann told The Stand with Eamon Dunphy podcast: “Well, the story coming out of Leverkusen, he extended his contract earlier in the season but I’m sure they’ve got an agreement so that if he wants to leave in the summer, he can go.

“As a football romantic, I would love to see him do another season at Leverkusen.

“But the problem might be, can they keep the team together? They’ve got some outstanding players and I think one or two will leave which obviously will harm their chances next season.

“I think if Liverpool come calling, I think it’s very hard to turn down, even though he follows in Klopp’s footsteps. But the thing is, sometimes the big clubs, they only come once.

“If somebody comes in in the summer and does well, the job might not be on offer for five or six years, or maybe nine years if they find another Klopp. So, I think if Liverpool come calling, I think he’ll take it.”

Bayer coach responds to Liverpool job links

FSG will be desperately hoping Hamann’s comments are accurate, though the club has made it clear, through the media, that they won’t make any approaches for managers currently employed, so as not to destabilise their current campaigns.

As an example, Leverkusen currently top the Bundesliga by two points from 11-time reigning champions Bayern Munich. And with Bayer chasing the first German crown in their entire 119-year history, it would be a fitting way for Alonso to depart if he was able to take them all the way.

In the meantime, Alonso has attempted to distance himself from the Liverpool job, revealing in a presser last week of his enormous admiration for the work he had done at Anfield.

“I have huge respect and admiration for Jurgen,” he said. “I was very surprised [by his news]. My focus is Leverkusen.

“At the moment I am really happy here. I still have a big motivation and I am very happy with the club and the team.

“I don’t know what’s gonna happen in the future. I don’t really care at the moment.”

Hamann starred alongside Alonso in the 2005 Champions League final, when the Reds famously overturned a 3-0 half-time deficit to AC Milan to record a thrilling win on penalties. The German and the Spaniard remain close friends after that famous night in Istanbul.

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