Former Liverpool midfielder Danny Murphy has claimed there is no standout candidate to replace Jurgen Klopp, with all the contenders lacking extensive experience.
Klopp is set to stand down as Reds manager this summer, having made public his decision in a surprise announcement last month.
While there are still trophies to be won in Klopp's final months, as Liverpool compete on four fronts, the hunt is already on for the legendary boss' Anfield successor.
Xabi Alonso is the leading candidate to be the man to take over for 2024/25, with the 42-year-old Spaniard the favourite among both the bookies and fans.
Alonso is currently in charge of Bayer Leverkusen, who are unbeaten at the top of the Bundesliga and cemented their title credentials with an impressive 3-0 win over Bayern Munich on Saturday — a game Liverpool scouts reportedly attended.
However, while Murphy is also backing Alonso to get the job, he isn't convinced any candidate 'ticks all the boxes' to replace Klopp.
Speaking on TalkSPORT, the former midfielder shared his thoughts on the credentials of the managers potentially under consideration, conceding Alonso is the best of the bunch under the circumstances.
He said: “I think in an ideal world you’d want a manager coming in to Liverpool to take over Jurgen Klopp to have a bigger body of work, even if he [Alonso] wins it [the Bundesliga]
“Because like any footballer, you can have a purple patch, a wonderful season or two.
“In an ideal world, you’d want a manager coming in who’s got this wonderful body of work, had success all over he place and has every chance of doing what Klopp’s done because he’s done it before. But unfortunately I don’t think that candidate is out there that stands out. So, what you do then is go to the next box and go for somebody who looks like he’s going to be a world beater.
“Alonso at the moment what he’s doing at Leverkusen and the style in which he’s doing it looks like a super young coach with lots of quality. He’s got a team playing for him, got a nice style, easy on the eye, very articulate, calm, been at Liverpool before. He ticks a lot of boxes, but he doesn’t tick them all.
“So, the problem you’ve got is that nobody does that I can think of and that’s why I say I think Alonso will get the gig and rightly so in my opinion.”
Alonso — who played for Liverpool between 2004 and 2009 — moved into coaching after his retirement as a player in 2017.
He first worked as a youth coach for Real Madrid before being appointed manager at Real Sociedad B, who he led to promotion in 2021.
In just under 18 months at Leverkusen, the former midfield playmaker has a win rate of 64.7% in all competitions and is unbeaten in all competitions this season, with the German side chasing down a first Bundesliga title in their 119-year history.