Liverpool

Liverpool

Premier League • England

Next Liverpool manager: FSG on red alert as Leverkusen ‘push’ to replace Xabi Alonso with ex-Prem boss

Liverpool managerial target Xabi Alonso

Liverpool managerial target Xabi Alonso

Liverpool are growing in confidence that they will be able to make Xabi Alonso the successor to Jurgen Klopp, as Bayer Leverkusen are reportedly aiming to replace the former midfielder with Julen Lopetegui.

Klopp left everyone involved with Liverpool shocked when he announced his decision to leave the club at the end of the season. The talismanic figure is running out of energy and is expected to take a year-long break from the game before returning and potentially managing the German national team – though that has not stopped him from being linked with Barcelona.

Liverpool’s owners, Fenway Sports Group, are desperate to avoid a repeat of what happened to Manchester United and Arsenal when Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger left those two clubs. As such, FSG must ensure that they select a hugely talented manager who can continue the amazing work Klopp has done at Anfield.

Alonso is the current frontrunner to take charge of Liverpool. He is already loved among Reds supporters after his successful five-year spell with Liverpool as a player, during which the club won the Champions League, FA Cup and UEFA Super Cup.

Alonso also has the managerial pedigree to back that up. He is doing a fantastic job at Leverkusen, as they are unbeaten in the Bundesliga after 20 matches and could shock Bayern Munich by winning the title.

Leverkusen would love to keep Alonso for a few more years, but they know he is likely to join one of Europe’s top clubs this summer. Liverpool are at the front of the queue, while there is also interest from Real Madrid and Bayern.

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In a major boost for Liverpool, it has now been revealed that Leverkusen are already preparing for life without the 42-year-old. According to Sport Witness, who cite reports emerging from Spain, the German outfit are hoping to bring Lopetegui in when Alonso departs.

Leverkusen are ‘pushing hard’ to land Lopetegui, who has been a free agent since leaving Wolverhampton Wanderers in August.

Lopetegui has been holding out for another Premier League job so far, but Leverkusen could get him to change his mind. After all, Alonso has helped to establish them as one of the best sides in Germany again, so Lopetegui could continue that great work.

Leverkusen will not find it easy to snare the Spaniard, though. AC Milan have also set their sights on Lopetegui in case they part with current boss Stefano Pioli, who is under growing pressure. That has set up a tussle between Leverkusen and Milan to snare Lopetegui.

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