Leverkusen chief makes Xabi Alonso admission amid Liverpool interest

Bayer Leverkusen's sporting director Simon Rolfes has conceded that the German club are preparing for a scenario in which Xabi Alonso leaves, amid interest from Liverpool.

Alonso has become the frontrunner to succeed Jurgen Klopp as Liverpool manager when the legendary coach steps down at the end of the season.

Both the bookies' and fans' favourite, Alonso spent five years as a player at Anfield and has gone on to become one of Europe's top young coaches since retiring.

His Leverkusen side remain unbeaten in 2023/24 and are on track for their first ever Bundesliga title, while they could also end up facing Liverpool in the Europa League final in May.

Along with Liverpool, Bayern Munich are reported to be interested in Alonso, though the man himself has kept his cards close to his chest as he focusses on a potentially historic season.

Leverkusen club chiefs have regularly insisted that their head coach will remain in charge for the foreseeable future, despite the interest. However, sporting director Rolfes has now admitted that the future is uncertain.

“You never have 100 percent security,” Rolfes said, via Kicker: “If an executive wants to go to another club, what happens then?

“Of course you have to prepare certain scenarios.”

Xabi Alonso

17.02.24 1. FC Heidenheim - Bayer 04 Leverkusen Deutschland, Heidenheim, 17.02.2024, Fussball, Bundesliga, 1. FC Heidenheim - Bayer 04 Leverkusen: Xabi Alonso Trainer Bayer 04 Leverkusen. *** 17 02 24 1 FC Heidenheim Bayer 04 Leverkusen Germany, Heidenheim, 17 02 2024, Football, Bundesliga, 1 FC Heidenheim Bayer 04 Leverkusen Xabi Alonso Coach Bayer 04 Leverkusen

The comments differ from those of Leverkusen CEO Fernando Carro who told Marca earlier this week: "He [Alonso] has a contract until 2026 and we are planning the next season with him at full speed. Nothing makes us think that he will not continue with us.

In the report that carries Rolfes' quotes, Kicker adds that Alonso is "cautious" and has "enough arguments for and against" regarding all the options in his next decision.

The piece notes that the 42-year-old is under no real pressure as, even if he doesn't make a decision quickly enough for Liverpool or Bayern, he will still have Leverkusen — "a club that would offer him ideal working conditions, a top squad again for the coming season and the Champions League offers the opportunity to confirm his successful work at the highest level in his first position as a first division coach."

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