Premier League • England

Liverpool gobsmacked as Xabi Alonso leans towards rival offer after double approach made

Bayer Leverkusen manager Xabi Alonso

Xabi Alonso is 'more willing' to join a club other than Liverpool

Liverpool have suffered a hammer blow in their quest to replace Jurgen Klopp with Xabi Alonso after a top source claimed the Bayer Leverkusen boss favours a rival offer.

The Reds will enter a new era next season with both a new sporting director and manager at the helm. Jurgen Klopp announced his intention to step away from Anfield at season’s end and will take a sabbatical before considering a return to management.

Bayer Leverkusen’s Xabi Alonso was quickly installed as the odds-on favourite to succeed Klopp.

The 42-year-old is working wonders at Leverkusen who are on course to lift their first ever Bundesliga title.

The German side sit eight points clear of second-placed Bayern Munich and are remarkably unbeaten across all competitions this term.

As such, Alonso could guide his club to a unique treble (Bundesliga, DFB Pokal, Europa League), though the third of those trophies would have to come at the expense of Liverpool.

It’s widely anticipated Alonso would be open to leaving Leverkusen in the summer if one of the three heavyweight clubs he played for came calling. The trio in question are Liverpool, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich.

Bayern are also seeking a new manager fresh off the news Thomas Tuchel will depart when the current season ends.

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In the event Bayern and Tuchel decide to part ways before then, the surprise name of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been lined up as an interim option.

But of far greater concern to Liverpool fans is who Alonso would choose if both they and Bayern lodge competing offers.

Now, according to Sky Germany’s Florian Plettenberg, Alonso’s feeling right now is he’d be “more willing” to join Bayern.

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Alonso to snub Liverpool?

“First of all, Xabi Alonso is 100 percent focused on winning the possible treble with Bayer Leverkusen,” began Plettenberg.

“He’s not motivated to speak about Bayern Munich, he’s not motivated to speak about Bayern in the background, he’s really focused on Leverkusen.

“We really have to say that it’s not 100 percent clear that Xabi Alonso will say yes to Bayern and all the Bayern bosses are informed about the difficulty of this possible transfer from Leverkusen.

“But my understanding and my information is that at this stage, Xabi Alonso is more willing to join Bayern Munich instead of joining Liverpool.

“I can also give you this news: Bayern have already enquired about Xabi Alonso, but we also have heard that Liverpool have also enquired in the last couple of days and weeks.”

News of Alonso favouring Bayern will be a bitter pill to swallow for Liverpool. The Reds don’t lack for alternatives, though Alonso is their No 1 target for the time being.

In the event Plettenberg’s warning rings true and Alonso does join Bayern, Liverpool could turn to alternatives such as Roberto De Zerbi (Brighton) or Ruben Amorim (Sporting Lisbon).

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