Liverpool have been in contact with their chosen successor to Jurgen Klopp ever since learning of the German’s decision to leave back in November, according to a report.
Reds fans were rocked last month upon learning of Klopp’s intention to leave Liverpool at the end of the 2023/24 season. The news was kept under wraps for two months, with Klopp revealing his mind was made up and the club were informed all the way back in November.
Klopp will take a sabbatical before weighing up his next move in management. The 56-year-old has already confirmed he won’t manage another club in England out of loyalty to Liverpool.
A return to Germany to manage the national team ahead of the 2026 World Cup has been touted. Elsewhere, replacing the outbound Xavi at Barcelona has been mentioned, though doing so this summer would not fit the sabbatical timeframe.
In any case, of greater importance to Liverpool fans is who will replace Klopp at Anfield. On that front, one man is the overwhelming favourite with the bookmakers – Xabi Alonso.
The Spaniard played for Liverpool between 2004-09 and is thriving in his first true taste of top level management at Bayer Leverkusen. His only prior post came with Real Sociedad’s B team.
Leverkusen currently top the table in the Bundesliga and are remarkably unbeaten across all competitions this season.
Their record stands at an incredible 26 wins, four draws and zero defeats in 30 matches. With 90 goals scored and just 22 conceded, Leverkusen’s goal difference is a scarcely-believable plus-68 in that span.
Liverpool choose Alonso; contact long since made
Now, according to French outlet Foot Mercato, Alonso is the manager Liverpool are pinning their hopes on.
They state the 42-year-old has already been chosen as the club’s priority candidate to succeed Klopp. Furthermore, contact between Liverpool and Alonso has already been made.
Foot Mercato state initial discussions took place immediately after Klopp made Liverpool aware he would leave back in November.
There has been speculation Alonso would only leave Leverkusen early if offered the chance to join one of the three heavyweight clubs he played for. The trio in question are Liverpool, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich.
However, Carlo Ancelotti recently signed a new contract at Real that runs until 2026 and Thomas Tuchel is under no short-term pressure at Bayern despite trailing Leverkusen in the Bundesliga.
Chelsea have also been suggested as a potential next step for Alonso amid mounding pressure on Mauricio Pochettino.
However, the under-fire Argentine’s position is reportedly safe until the end of the season. As such, Chelsea will be unable to steal a march on Liverpool in the race to snap up Alonso.
In any case, Foot Mercato conclude Liverpool have already put the pieces in place to appoint Alonso when declaring the Reds have already ‘taken the matter in hand.’