Liverpool FC News Recap: Xabi Alonso LATEST, Salah RETURN date, Ashworth LINKED

Journalist Fabrizio Romano has revealed that Liverpool "know everything" about Xabi Alonso's contract situation at Bayer Leverkusen and the Spaniard is the "main candidate" to replace Jurgen Klopp.

With Liverpool fans pretty much set on Alonso taking over from Klopp, transfer expert Fabrizio Romano has confirmed that the club are "well-informed" on his situation at the BayArena.

"Liverpool are well-informed on the situation of Xabi Alonso," said Romano on his YouTube channel.

"Liverpool know everything about his contract situation at Bayer Leverkusen, how to find a way to appoint Xabi Alonso potentially in the summer."


Leverkusen sporting director "sure" Alonso will stay

That said, 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.

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.

However, after the standout win over Bayern on Saturday, 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.


Barcelona also interested in Alonso

Another potential obstacle for the Reds could be interest from elsewhere, with Barcelona considering the highly rated coach, according to one report in Spain.

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."

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.

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


Liverpool could challenge Manchester United for Ashworth

As Liverpool step up their search for Jorg Schmadtke's replacement as director of football, another candidate being thrown into the mix is Newcastle United's sporting director Dan Ashworth .

Schmadtke was only ever seen as a short-term option by Liverpool, with Jurgen Klopp's shock announcement regarding his departure at the end of the season forcing the Reds to speed up their search for a new sporting director.

Dan Ashworth file photo File photo dated 20-05-2019 of new Newcastle sporting director Dan Ashworth, who has started work on Tyneside after the club received Premier League approval for his appointment. Issue date: Monday June 6, 2022. FILE PHOTO FILE PHOTO PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxUKxIRL Copyright: xGarethxFullerx 67310846

Plenty of names have been touted with taking over from Schmadtke at Anfield, with journalist Ben Jacobs telling GIVEMESPORT that Newcastle's Ashworth is someone "liked by Liverpool".


Salah back for Brentford?

Mohamed Salah could return to action for Liverpool's trip to Brentford this weekend as he steps up his recovery from injury.

The winger has been out of action since 18 January after suffering a hamstring tear during Egypt's 2-2 draw with Ghana at the Africa Cup of Nations with his recovery timeline estimated at between three to four weeks.

The Reds' Premier League game against Brentford on Saturday, 17 February will come at just over four weeks on from Salah's initial injury, with the forward on an individual training programme, working on his return to fitness.

The No. 11 has regularly shared images from his rehabilitation since his return to Merseyside, most recently posting a series of pics from the gym to his Instagram story on Sunday morning.


Salah "not a leader"

Just as he's nearing a return to the field, former Egypt striker Mido has launched a remarkable attack on Mohamed Salah after claiming the Liverpool winger has "never been a leader on the pitch".

Mohamed Salah faced criticism from some of Egypt's former stars for returning to Anfield early after picking up an injury at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations, with the Pharaohs subsequently exiting the competition in the last 16.


Konate sparks PSG rumours at basketball arena

Liverpool's Ibrahima Konate, sidelined for the 3-1 win over Burnley at the weekend due to the red card he picked up at Arsenal, made the most of his downtime by trading the football pitch for a basketball court.

The towering centre-back was spotted at the Arena Porte de la Chapelle in the French capital as he watched Paris Basketball beat Saint-Quentin 87-65.

Interestingly, he was accompanied at the match by Ousmane Dembele and Randal Kolo Muani - both forwards for Paris Saint-Germain, sparking rumours about a potential move.


Curtis Jones, Jurgen Klopp

Football - Football League Cup - Quarter-Final - Liverpool FC v West Ham United FC LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, December 20, 2023: Liverpool s manager Jürgen Klopp celebrates with two-goal hero Curtis Jones L after the Football League Cup Quarter-Final match between Liverpool FC and West Ham United FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 5-1. Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda LIVERPOOL Anfield MERSEYSIDE ENGLAND PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxUK Copyright: xDavidxRawcliffex P2023-12-20-Liverpool_West_Ham-80

Klopp wants Jones quote put on the wall

Liverpool Academy graduate Curtis Jones has come on leaps and bounds this season - and his development has not gone unnoticed by manager Jurgen Klopp.

In light of his cameo at right-back against Burnley on Saturday, Klopp, who had previously said "if Curtis Jones can learn defending, anyone can learn defending", is now doubling down on his praise for the Scouser.

Klopp told NBC Sports: "Now, definitely, on the wall in the academy, we will draw 'if Curtis Jones can learn defending, anyone can learn defending'."


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