Liverpool have made contact with Bayer Leverkusen manager Xabi Alonso over succeeding Jurgen Klopp in the Anfield dugout, according to a report.
Reds fans are still reeling from nearly two weeks ago, when Klopp shocked the sporting world by announcing his intention to depart the club after nine glory-laden seasons.
Attention quickly turned to who could possibly replace the German at the helm, and the majority of supporters only had one answer: Xabi Alonso.
The latest managerial force in European football and a former Reds midfield maestro, Alonso has been tearing it up in Germany with Bayer, taking them from relegation-threatened to serious title contenders within 12 months - with his side unbeaten in 20 and two points clear at the top of the Bundesliga.
And, according to French outlet Foot Mercato, Liverpool have had their sights on the Spaniard ever since they were initially informed of Klopp's departure back in late 2023.
It's claimed that the Reds board made their first contact with Alonso in November, earmarking him as the top candidate to replace Klopp come the summer.
This is ratified by Sky Germany's Florian Plettenberg, who says that Leverkusen are fully aware of Liverpool's interest in their highly sought-after manager.
The club are reportedly hopeful of keeping hold of Alonso past the end of this season, but are also said to have an agreement with the 42-year-old that enables him to leave the club if any of his former sides approach him.
Alonso is among others on Liverpool's shortlist of potential candidates to succeed Klopp, with Brighton's Roberto De Zerbi, Germany's Julian Nagelsmann and Sporting Lisbon's Ruben Amorim all also touted for the role.
A key figure in the process of bringing in a new manager will be experienced sporting executive Theo Epstein - the former Boston Red Sox CEO who was recently appointed by Reds owners FSG to oversee sporting matters for Liverpool.