Premier League • England

Next Liverpool manager: Shock Bundesliga boss tipped as Klopp successor as big Xabi Alonso doubt is cast

Edin Terzic and Xabi Alonso are contenders for the Liverpool job

Edin Terzic and Xabi Alonso are contenders for the Liverpool job

Liverpool have been told they may need to reconsider their plan to appoint Xabi Alonso as Jurgen Klopp’s successor after a flaw was highlighted in his CV – while a former Reds goalkeeper has also been quick to suggest an alternative name for the top job at Anfield.

Supporters of the Merseyside giants were hit with the bombshell news last month that this would be Klopp’s final season at the helm, with the 56-year-old stepping down at the end of the 2023/24 campaign after close to nine years in charge. Having led Liverpool to both the Premier League and Champions League as part of a six-trophy haul, Klopp will go down in history as one of the club’s all-time greats.

In the meantime, the search for his successor is already well underway and FSG, who have appointed a man known as the world’s greatest leader to take care of that hunt, do have a few strong contenders in mind.

Indeed, while the likes of Roberto De Zerbi, Ruben Amorim and Ange Postecoglou have been tipped as options, the name on most people’s lips is Xabi Alonso, who has done a stellar job in charge at Bayer Leverkusen in his first managerial role.

DON’T MISSFive reasons why Xabi Alonso would be perfect Jurgen Klopp successor

To that end, it would come as a major shock if the Reds do not make their move for the 42-year-old, especially given the news that Leverkusen will not seemingly demand an exit fee for his release.

Any potential move for Klopp’s successor will not be made until the season’s end, given FSG do not want to disrupt both Leverekusen’s push for Bundesliga glory, nor Liverpool’s own bid to end the Klopp reign with a four-trophy haul.

Liverpool told to consider Dortmund coach for next manager

And while Bayern Munich are also being credited with an interest, Fabrizio Romano has made clear that the Spaniard is “100% confirmed” to be on FSG’s shortlist ahead of that crucial next appointment.

“Liverpool remain very interested in Xabi Alonso – they keep having contacts, but they also want to be respectful because it’s an important season for Bayer Leverkusen and they don’t want to disturb them.

“Still, it’s 100% confirmed that Liverpool want to go for Alonso. He’s not the only name on their list, but they are well informed on his contract situation – there is not a proper clause, but a gentleman’s agreement with the club.”

Talking up Alonso’s credentials, Romano added on Caught Offside: “I’m not sure any concrete talks are imminent because of Leverkusen’s situation, but for sure Alonso is at the top of Liverpool’s list – he’s not the only one, but he’s a strong candidate for the Liverpool job.”

However, despite Romano’s praise, former Liverpool goalkeeper David James is not totally convinced by Alonso and reckons the Reds really should consider Borussia Dortmund coach Edin Terzic for the upcoming vacancy.

“I’ve already said that Edin Terzic, who I know personally, should be in the mix because of his Borussia Dortmund links, which is obviously similar to Jürgen Klopp,” James told GGRecon.

“The thing we have to understand with Liverpool is that Jurgen has shown how to handle the media in a way that doesn’t sensationalise anything. He’s so down to earth, honest and he doesn’t glorify anything, so the qualities he continues to display are qualities that a lot of other managers don’t have. I believe that Jurgen has a special skill.

“For Liverpool, finding somebody who’s good with a football team is one thing, but finding someone as skilled as Jurgen with the media is another thing.”

Next Liverpool boss: Xabi Alonso concern made clear to FSG

James also feels Alonso’s lack of experience – being that he is just under 18 months into his first senior management role – could be a concern to FSG and may give them reason to think twice.

“This season for Xabi Alonso has gone ridiculously well for him and he couldn’t have wished for a better position. With Bayern Munich imploding at present, it looks like he’s going to guide Bayer Leverkusen to their first Bundesliga title in their history,” James added.

“He’s doing amazing things at the moment, but he’s only been a first-team manager for 18 months and he’s not got the longevity that Jurgen Klopp had before moving to Liverpool. Tactically he may be fantastic, but Liverpool may be unsure about whether he can deal with the media side of the job.

“I think that Liverpool would have had a succession plan for Jurgen, that would have started two or three years ago. As surprising as Jurgen’s announcement was for us all, I believe Liverpool would have already had something in place and whether Xabi was in that conversation from a couple of years ago is difficult to say.

“I believe Edin Terzić is a good option and I really like him as a person, but I’m really sure that Liverpool would have a list of three or four candidates. I know that Ange Postecoglou is a name that’s being mooted at the moment, but there could also be another potential replacement out there that nobody’s talking about.”

Despite that lack of experience, his former Reds mentor Rafa Benitez has talked up Alonso’s prospects of landing the job and believes it won’t be a major issue.

READ MOREXabi Alonso ‘makes choice’ on Liverpool job as Rafa Benitez advises FSG on ‘intelligent’ Klopp successor