Premier League • England

Xabi Alonso manhood questioned for rejecting Liverpool, as pundit goes off the rails after getting it wrong

Xabi Alonso, Richard Keys

Richard Keys has savaged Xabi Alonso for spurning Liverpool

beIN Sports anchor Richard Keys has launched a withering attack on Bayer Leverkusen boss Xabi Alonso after he spurned the chance to replace Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool.

Liverpool are seeking a new manager for the first time in nine years and Xabi Alonso had emerged as a concrete target. The classy Spaniard, 42, is working wonders at Leverkusen where after yesterday’s last-gasp 2-1 victory over Hoffenheim, they now hold a 13-point lead over Bayern Munich.

Alonso was also in the sights of Bayern Munich who’ll wave goodbye to Thomas Tuchel at season’s end. Real Madrid admire Alonso too, though current boss Carlo Ancelotti is contracted to 2026.

However, all speculation regarding Alonso’s future was put to bed on Friday. The Leverkusen boss publicly confirmed he’ll remain loyal to his current club who he’ll manage for at least one more season.

That declaration came just days after beIN host Richard Keys claimed to have inside knowledge on Alonso’s future.

Keys claimed he’d been told Alonso had said yes to replacing Klopp at Anfield. Subsequent news to the contrary has not been received warmly by Keys.

While working on beIN, Keys remarkably launched a scathing attack on Alonso and questioned “the size of his cojones.”

Keys suggested Alonso’s decision to snub Liverpool – as well as Bayern Munich – displayed a lack of ambition.

The pundit also declared Alonso’s stock will never be higher than it is right now and compared Leverkusen’s success this term to Leicester City’s one-off title win back in 2015/16.

Keys goes on the attack after getting it wrong

“Early parts of the week, I had conversations with a number of people who were convinced that Alonso was going to Liverpool,” said Keys.

“There was another group who got in touch to say he was staying, you might be wrong there. Don’t care – they’ll draw him out and that’s what I think we were hoping to do at some point.

“He announced yesterday, Alonso, that he’s staying. And in my opinion that is a huge mistake.

“At no other time in history will jobs at Liverpool, Munich, Manchester United, maybe Real Madrid will be available again. Right now, he can have his pick.

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“At no other point in his career going forward will he be in this luxurious position again. He might get Madrid at a different time – and now’s a great time to get Real Madrid.

“I would question the size of his cojones. They’re ‘Leicesterkusen’ because Bayer Leverkusen will never again have a season like this.

“Bayern Munich next season will make sure they have another decade of domination in German football and Leverkusen may pick up a cup here and there.

“So right now his stock is as high as it will ever be and his opportunities are as broad and as great as they’ll ever be and I think he has bottled it.”

Co-host Andy Gray then asked “So you think Leverkusen are Leicester and he’s bottled the job?” to which Keys replied: “Absolutely.”

With Alonso remaining in Leverkusen, Liverpool have turned their attention to Sporting CP’s Ruben Amorim and Roberto De Zerbi of Brighton.

READ MORE: Next Liverpool manager’s to-do list: Five major tasks for Klopp successor, from contracts to transfers