The man made the No 1 choice by Liverpool to become their new manager, Xabi Alonso, could reportedly look to bring three of his Bayer Leverkusen stars with him to Anfield – with a deal for €75m-rated playmaker Florian Wirtz top of his wanted list.
The Reds are in the process of seeking a new manager to replace the legend that is Jurgen Klopp in the Anfield dug-out after the German’s shock announcement that he will be stepping down at the end of the current campaign. Having led Liverpool to six major trophies so far and a total of four European finals, he will go down in the history books as one of the all-time great managers in the club’s prestigious history.
To aid the hunt for Klopp’s heir, the Reds have appointed a man known as the ‘world’s greatest leader’ to advise FSG on ensuring they get that next appointment right.
And while FSG are well down the line in their process of finding his successor, having known of Klopp’s intentions since November, the American owners do not intend to go public with their choice until the season comes to an end and in a bid not to derail Liverpool’s chances of success in what still could prove to be their most-successful campaign yet.
As it stands, Liverpool are still alive in their quest to win four trophies this season and can get the first of those ticked off later this month when they take on Chelsea at Wembley in the Carabao Cup final.
However, behind all the smoke and mirrors, it’s been reported that Liverpool have already established their former midfielder Alonso as their No 1 target for the role.
‘Florian Wirtz will be Alonso’s first signing at Liverpool’
The Spaniard is doing a tremendous job with Bayer Leverkusen, who are top of the Bundesliga and chasing a first crown in their 119-year history.
Understandably, Liverpool do not wish to go public with their apparent wish to install Alonso for fear of derailing Leverkusen’s quest at making history.
Nonetheless, reports on Wednesday claimed Liverpool have ‘made first contact’ with the 42-year-old Alonso in an effort to sound him out over their forthcoming vacancy.
That news follows on a claim last week that suggested Alonso has already made it clear that, were he to move to Anfield, he would want to bring his stand-out Leverkusen player with him to Merseyside: talented young playmaker Wirtz.
Touted as Alonso’s first signing for Liverpool at Anfield, the 20-year-old has established himself as one of European football’s most sought-after players, having also been linked with the likes of Barcelona, Real Madrid and Manchester City, with the latter seeing him as a potential heir to Kevin De Bruyne.
Wirtz has scored eight times this season but has also produced a staggering 15 assists from 28 games this season – giving the No 10 a goal contribution every 1.2 appearances.
Rated in the €75m (£64m) bracket, any deal for the 14-times capped playmaker would set the Reds back one of the biggest fees in their history.
Reds keen on signing Bayer Leverkusen trio
Now the Daily Express claims in a speculative report that Wirtz could actually be the first of three signings to arrive at Anfield from Leverkusen.
And it’s claimed the prospective new Liverpool boss would also want two other Bayer Leverkusen stars to follow him to Merseyside with two defenders from the Bundesliga outfit also in his sights.
First up, it’s reported Alonso could also look to sign long-term Klopp target Piero Hincapie too. The Ecuador international is rated as one of the best centre-halves in the Bundesliga and, at just 22-years-old, has his best years ahead of him.
The 30-times capped international is also on Tottenham’s radar and would also not come cheap with a deal likely to cost as much as €60m (£51.2) for his services.
A new centre-half is expected to be high on Liverpool’s agenda this summer and, while Goncalo Inacio of Sporting Lisbon has also been linked, the presence of Alonso at Anfield would make a move for Hincapie more likely.
And finally, it’s claimed Alonso could also look to sign Jeremie Frimpong, the former Celtic right-back who has also wowed over the last 18 months with a series of brilliant displays.
Linked too with Manchester United, the Dutchman would arguably be the easiest of the trio to sign owing to the €40m exit clause in his Leverkusen deal.
Any move for the 23-year-old would also free up Trent Alexander-Arnold to fully convert into the midfield role, where he has excelled in recent times.
Deals for all three players would not come cheap, with the Reds potentially looking at a combined €175m (£149.4m) payout – on top of any compensation package they would need to pay the Germans for Alonso’s services.