Liverpool face competition for Xabi Alonso as Barcelona eye 'dream' move

Liverpool are not the only club eyeing Xabi Alonso this summer, with Barcelona considering the highly rated coach, according to one report in Spain.

Following Jurgen Klopp's shock announcement to stand down at the end of the current season, Alonso has fast become the frontrunner to take over as Liverpool manager.

The 42-year-old is not only a popular former player at Anfield, but has an impressive track record in his young coaching career.

Alonso's Bayer Leverkusen side are chasing down a first Bundesliga title in the club's history and are currently undefeated after 21 matches in 2023/24, having seen off rivals Bayern Munich 3-0 at the weekend.

As well as being the bookies' favourite to succeed Klopp, Alonso is also the fans' preferred choice too, having comfortably won an Anfield Watch poll on who the next Liverpool boss should be.

However, Liverpool are n0t the only club eyeing up the 2010 World Cup winning midfielder.

Bayern Munich — another of Alonso's former clubs — may too be interested, with current manager Thomas Tuchel under pressure.

1. Bundesliga - Bayer 04 Leverkusen - FC Bayern München am 10.02.2024 in der BayArena in Leverkusen Trainer Xabi Alonso Leverkusen gibt lautstark Anweisungen *** 1 Bundesliga Bayer 04 Leverkusen FC Bayern Munich on 10 02 2024 at the BayArena in Leverkusen Coach Xabi Alonso Leverkusen gives loud instructions MH

Meanwhile, Catalan outlet Sport reports that Barcelona consider Alonso a 'dream' as they seek a new boss following Xavi Hernandez's decision to leave at the end of the season.

The Leverkusen boss is apparently "very popular among part of the board of directors" at Barça, with the club considering "the option of moving a piece before anyone else and acquiring the services of this newcomer."

Alonso's Catalan connection

While the idea of Alonso, a former Real Madrid star, taking over at Camp Nou might seem implausible, Sport cite the fact that Xabi spent part of his childhood in Catalonia as his father, Periko Alonso, played for Barça in the 1980s.

Also a decorated midfielder, Periko made 54 appearances for Barcelona over three seasons, winning the 1985 La Liga title. After leaving Camp Nou, he finished his playing career in Catalonia at neighbouring Sabadell.

Sport's report adds that Barça's interest also stems from a chance to get one over on their great rivals and they "also understand that it would be a blow to Real Madrid since Alonso was a key player in Madrid for six seasons."

Though Alonso is a wanted man, Bayer Leverkusen have not given up hope of retaining their star coach beyond this season.

Speaking after the weekend's marquee victory, Leverkusen sporting director Simon Rolfes was asked if he was sure Alonso would still be Leverkusen's manager next season, replying: "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."

Jurgen Klopp has also been suggested as a possible contender to take over at Barcelona next summer, though the 56-year-old has consistently maintained he will take a break from football before deciding on whether to take another management job.

Share This Article