Xabi Alonso to Bayern claims disputed as Liverpool given advantage once again

Reports that Bayern Munich have opened talks with Bayer Leverkusen head coach Xabi Alonso have been disputed, as Liverpool receive another boost in the race to secure the highly rated coach.

With Liverpool and Bayern Munich on the lookout for new managers ahead of next season, Alonso — a former player at both clubs — has shot to the top of the wish list on Merseyside and in Munich.

While the man himself has remained coy on his future so far, as Leverkusen chase down a first-ever Bundesliga title, Alonso's next move is fast becoming the transfer story of the opening months of 2024.

As with any major transfer saga these days, confusion reigns as multiple reports contradict each other on what is really happening.

Earlier on Tuesday, Sky Germany reported that Bayern had opened talks with the 42-year-old, while it was also claimed that the former midfield playmaker would prefer a move to Munich, as Liverpool represented too much of a risk after the success of Jurgen Klopp.

Those suggestions contradicted previous stories regarding Alonso's preferences, while Sky's report has been dismissed by German outlet BILD.

Their piece claims that "in Leverkusen people are very irritated by the reporting", while adding that "nothing is known about any discussions between Alonso and Bayern."

ALONSO Xabier Trainer Team Bayer 04 Leverkusen DFL Fussball Bundesliga Saison 2023 - 2024 Spiel Bayer 04 Leverkusen - 1.FC Heidenheim 4 : 1 am 24.09.2023 in Leverkusen DFL Copyright: xLacixPerenyix

BILD add that when Liverpool approached Alonso's agent, Inaki Ibanez, to start their own negotiations, the Reds' interest was passed on to Leverkusen. That hasn't happened in the case of Bayern's alleged enquiry.

Instead, it is said that Bayern are "still waiting for a signal" from Alonso before attempting to initiate "concrete negotiations". So far, there has been no sign.

Alonso cheaper for Liverpool than Bayern?

Meanwhile, BILD also dispute the recent claims of a specific exit clause in Alonso's contract at Leverkusen, which runs until 2026.

However, while there is not specific buyout clause for the Leverkusen manager, the Bundesliga leaders would definitely ask for a transfer fee from Bayern if Alonso were to leave.

Interestingly, and to Liverpool's advantage, it is also claimed that since Bayern is a domestic rival the fee they get quoted "could well be higher" than price Liverpool are asked to stump up.

Bayer Leverkusen have not given up hope of holding onto Alonso for at least another season, despite the significant interest from two of Europe's biggest clubs.

Leverkusen's sporting director Simon Rolfes said recently on the head coach's future: “I remain calm and optimistic. The most important thing with managers is that they feel comfortable and have the feeling that they are in the right place.

“Xabi knows what he has at the club. He has often said that. That’s how he works with his team and his coaching team every day.

“There are many conjunctures in the world. Not all of them have to materialise.”

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