Why Xabi Alonso to Liverpool is 'no done deal' with three clubs looking at Leverkusen manager

Spanish journalist Guillem Balague has insisted that Xabi Alonso replacing Jurgen Klopp is 'no done deal' amid frequent reports linking the former Liverpool midfielder with a return to Anfield.

Klopp announced that he would leave Liverpool at the end of the current season after nine successful years with the club, allowing for plenty of speculation regarding who will succeed the 56-year-old on Merseyside.

Unsurprisingly, former Liverpool star and current Bayer Leverkusen manager Xabi Alonso is the favourite as he continues to do an incredible job with the German side.

Despite a goalless draw at the weekend, Leverkusen remain two points clear of giants Bayern Munich at the top of the Bundesliga table, while they're also still unbeaten in all competitions this term.

Alonso has gained plenty of plaudits for his attractive and, perhaps most significantly, winning football, but Balague insists that a move to Liverpool at the end of the season is far from guaranteed.

Writing for BBC Sport, he stated: "Liverpool are not the only club casting an avaricious eye over the man who is currently one of the hottest managerial properties.

"Real Madrid, Bayern Munich (both of whom he also played for with great distinction) and even Manchester City where Pep Guardiola might not extend his stay past the end of next season, will also be looking closely at the situation.

"And despite bookmakers offering miserly odds which make it look like it is a done deal, it is anything but - and the only certainty is that, ultimately, the decision will be Alonso's alone."

Balague insists that Leverkusen "would not stand in his way" should Alonso choose to leave the club for a European giant and that "Alonso, and nobody else, will decide when it is time to leave Bayer Leverkusen."

He adds that with Thomas Tuchel under pressure at Bayern Munich, Carlo Ancelotti having only signed a contract extension until 2026 and Pep Guardiola potentially stepping away from Manchester City soon, Alonso has plenty of options available to him.

Much will likely depend on how the 42-year-old finishes the season with Leverkusen - who could still play Liverpool in the Europa League - but the Spaniard has already proven himself as one of the most exciting coaches in world football.

Writing about Alonso's talent, Balague said: "As a player, as well as learning from Guardiola, Alonso soaked up from the very best including Jose Mourinho, Carlo Ancelotti and Rafael Benitez, and knows how to put his ideas across to players. He is very much an interventionist, a hands-on coach rather than a manager.

"His style as a coach leads him to look to dominate through possession, though he isn't an evangelical fundamentalist to the idea in the same way that he isn't joined at the hip to always playing 4-3-3, the favoured line-up of those who see it as the crux of the game.

"At Leverkusen he swiftly realised it was poor defending that was hurting them most, and his decision to turn to a back three with two players playing just in front of them helped shore things up.

"It is a system Alonso still uses and now he has a much stronger midfield, capable of playing through into the opposition box.

"His constant corrections in training mean just about every player has improved both individually and as part of the collective - everyone knows his methodology and what is expected of them."

Share This Article