There has been a U-turn in the coaching career of former Liverpool midfielder Xabi Alonso, who has extended his contract with Real Sociedad.
Alonso has been in coaching since 2018, and has been leading Real Sociedad’s B team for the past two years. However, reports emerged earlier this week that he was ready to step into senior management by becoming the next Borussia Monchengladbach head coach.
Gladbach will lose Marco Rose to Borussia Dortmund at the end of the season. It seemed they were willing to lure former Bayern Munich midfielder Alonso back to the Bundesliga.
However, the news was soon played down by other sources. And now, Alonso has confirmed he will be staying with La Real until the summer of 2022.
The Spaniard has signed a new, one-year contract with the Basque club. He will continue to oversee the progress of their B team, who play in the third tier in Spain.
Explaining his decision, Alonso insisted that he could “keep growing” with La Real – the club he joined Liverpool from as a player in 2004.
“I’m very happy with how things are going,” said Alonso. “I have had great communication with the club and I want to keep growing and helping with this project.
“These have been two very enriching years for me for me and the club. We still have higher aspirations and a lot in front of us to fight for.
“We have huge ambitions.”
Stephen Warnock: Players will respect Xabi Alonso straight away
Former Liverpool defender Stephen Warnock says Xabi Alonso will be respected 'straight away' by the Borussia Monchengladbach squad after reports claimed he would be their head coach for next season.
The Spanish third tier is split into several groups and Alonso has guided Sanse (the other name for the B team) to the top of theirs. With one matchday remaining, they have already qualified for the next group phase – which could lead to a place in the promotion play-offs.
Still only 39 years old, there will be plenty of time for Alonso to take up a job at a higher level in the future.
His playing career saw him learn from some of the game’s most influential coaches. For example, he played under the likes of Pep Guardiola, Jose Mourinho, Vicente Del Bosque, Rafael Benitez and Carlo Ancelotti.
Liverpool warned over midfield target
Meanwhile, Liverpool could be set for a shakeup in the territory Alonso used to roam. With Georginio Wijnaldum expected to leave when his contract expires in the summer, they have been linked with a number of midfielders.
One of the names to be suggested as a reinforcement is former Arsenal star Aaron Ramsey.
The Wales international is out of favour at Juventus and could have the chance to return to the Premier League. However, one pundit thinks he would be unsuitable for Liverpool.
Kevin Campbell told Football Insider of Ramsey: “He’s not Wijnaldum. Wijnaldum’s got a good engine and he knows how to score goals.
“I think he’s a good player but he’s not the same. He’s more of an attacking player whereas Wijnaldum’s a box-to-box player.
“Wijnaldum’s a really good, underrated player. I don’t think Ramsey’s as tough as Wijnaldum. He was part of those teams that got bullied at Arsenal, including by Liverpool.”