Bayer Leverkusen are preparing to lose manager Xabi Alonso to Liverpool. It promises to be the major story of 2024.
Liverpool are losing Jurgen Klopp at the end of the season - that we know. What isn't so clear is who replaces him at Anfield.
It's an enormous job for anyone to take on, of course, but three names have popped to the top of the list. Xabi Alonso, Roberto De Zerbi and Ruben Amorim all appear to be on the shortlist at Anfield.
Liverpool are in that group, with the Spaniard having played at Anfield from 2004 to 2009. He may be set for another arrival 20 years after his initial move to Merseyside.
Fuelling talk of that agreement is a report from Christian Falk for CaughtOffside. He claims that Leverkusen are now preparing for the possibility of Alonso's exit to Liverpool this summer.
“The announced resignation of Jürgen Klopp also has consequences in Germany,” said Falk.
“Leverkusen are preparing for the possibility of losing coach Xabi Alonso to the Reds.
“Hansi Flick was actually considered a potential successor. But the former national coach is at the top of FC Barcelona’s list as Xavi’s successor."
Now, there's still a long way to go and Leverkusen need to prepare for the exit just in case. Alonso might still turn around and reject Liverpool but his current club need to have things in order in case he does jump ship.
But the fact they're preparing at all suggests there's a very real possibility. If they were going to hold the Spaniard to his contract no matter what, there really wouldn't be much of a need to find alternatives.
A positive sign for Liverpool, then? It feels that way.