Leverkusen chief speaks out on Liverpool interest in Xabi Alonso

Bayer Leverkusen sporting director Simon Rolfes has claimed he is 'sure' that Xabi Alonso will still be in charge of the German club next season, despite links to Liverpool.

The 42-year-old former midfielder has become the clear frontrunner to become Liverpool manager at the end of the 2023/24 campaign when Jurgen Klopp stands down.

As well as being a much-loved ex-Liverpool player, Alonso is enjoying a highly impressive start to his managerial career and currently leads the Bundesliga with Leverkusen.

His side are still undefeated after 21 matches this season, most recently beating title rivals Bayern Munich 3-0 on Saturday to extend their lead at the top of the table to five points as they chase down a first German title in the club's history.

It has previously been reported that Alonso has an agreement in his contract in Germany that would allow him to leave if one of his former clubs (Liverpool, Bayern Munich or Real Madrid) came calling, while Fabrizio Romano is among those to suggest that the Reds are already putting plans in place to bring the coach to Merseyside.

Xabi Alonso

GER, 1. FBL Bayer 04 Leverkusen vs FC Bayern München / Muenchen / 10.02.2024, BayArena, Leverkusen, GER, 1. FBL Bayer 04 Leverkusen vs FC Bayern München / Muenchen Im Bild: Xabi Alonso Chef-Trainer / Head-Coach, Bayer 04 Leverkusen Gestik, Mimik, Emotionen *** GER, 1 FBL Bayer 04 Leverkusen vs FC Bayern München Muenchen 10 02 2024, BayArena, Leverkusen, GER, 1 FBL Bayer 04 Leverkusen vs FC Bayern München Muenchen In the picture Xabi Alonso Head Coach Head Coach, Bayer 04 Leverkusen Gestures, facial expressions, emotions nordphotoxGmbHxx/xChristianxSchulze nph000300

However, while Alonso appears the standout candidate to succeed Klopp, a move is far from a sure thing.

Bayern have also been suggested as another possible destination for the former playmaker, with Thomas Tuchel under pressure. Meanwhile, Leverkusen chief Rolfes has insisted his manager will, in fact, stay put this summer.

After the marquee win over Bayern, Rolfes was asked if was sure Alonso would still be Leverkusen's manager next season by German broadcaster SPORT1.

He replied: "Yes, I'm sure.

"One [reason] is the contract. The other thing is how comfortable he feels, the family, himself and that he knows what he has in the club.

"He also has a very good team, we will have a very good perspective next year and there's no change in the team. We will definitely have a top team available next year. These are all points that - in addition to contracts - coaches like Xabi, but also players who [attract] interest, often stay with us."

Whether Rolfes' bold claim holds much water remains to be seen, with Alonso known to still have a strong connection to Liverpool.

In addition to Alonso, Liverpool have also been linked with Sporting CP manager Ruben Amorim and Brighton's Roberto De Zerbi as other potential Klopp replacements.

However, before appointing the new manager, it's likely that the club hierarchy will put in place a new sporting director first, with interim transfer chief Jorg Schmadtke having departed at the end of the January window.

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