Xabi Alonso does not have a written clause in his contract that would allow him to leave his current post at Bayer Leverkusen for the Liverpool manager's job, the German club's CEO has claimed.
The ex-Liverpool midfielder, who spent five years at Anfield between 2004 and 2009, is fast becoming one of the hottest young coaches in world football.
The 41-year-old inherited a Leverkusen team threatened with a relegation battle last year, but lifted them to a sixth-placed Bundesliga finish in 2022/23 as well as reaching the semi-finals of the Europa League.
Alonso, who was awarded with a contract extension until 2026 earlier this year, has continued the form into the 2023/24 season, with Die Werkself top of the table (two points clear of Bayern) after 11 games.
His position at Leverkusen is only the 2010 World Cup winner's second senior managerial role, after spending three years at Real Sociedad B, who he helped win promotion back in 2021.
Alonso's eye-catching start as a top-level coach has drawn plenty of admirers, and he is seen by many as a possible successor for Jurgen Klopp – when the German finally leaves.
Reports from Germany even recently claimed Liverpool would be met with little resistance if they were to make a move for Alonso, as the Spaniard has an 'agreement' at Leverkusen which allows him to leave, without breaking contract, for a job at one of his former clubs.
Speaking to Ben Jacobs, Leverkusen CEO Fernando Carro refuted the idea that Alonso has an official clause in the terms of his contract but admitted he would not stand in the way of his coach if he decided he wanted to move.
"We have a very, very good relationship with Xabi and he knows we are a serious club," Carro said.
"And at the end of the day, we're not going to force someone to stay if he doesn't want to stay. We want him to feel so happy and so good with us that he really only wants to stay and this is our objective.
"There is nothing on paper. But sometimes agreements that are not on paper are agreements as well.
"We know if he needs to do a move in the future we will be able to talk with each other. And I hope we will not need to do this because he will stay and be happy at Leverkusen."
Liverpool are unlikely to be searching for a new manager any time soon, with Klopp under contract until 2026.
There has, however, been talk that Alonso could be approached by another former club in Real Madrid, with some claiming that the 2014 Champions League winner has been 'chosen' as their next manager for when Carlo Ancelotti departs.