Xabi Alonso dreams of managing Liverpool, according to his former teammate Bastian Schweinsteiger.
The 42-year-old former playmaker is the early frontrunner to succeed Jurgen Klopp at Anfield, following the current boss' shock announcement to stand down at the end of the season.
Klopp revealed that he is 'running out of energy' after over eight years in the job, with the hunt now on for a replacement.
Alonso — who spent five years at Liverpool between 2004 and 2009 — would be a popular choice to take over from Klopp. Currently leading the Bundesliga with Bayer Leverkusen, Alonso was far and away the preferred choice among Anfield Watch followers in a recent poll.
Who do you want as the next Liverpool manager?
— Anfield Watch (@AnfieldWatch) January 26, 2024
Meanwhile, some reports have claimed that the Reds' hierarchy have already made contact with Alonso to sound him out about the job.
Publicly, the former Real Madrid and Bayern Munich star has kept his cards close to his chest as he focusses on chasing down a first-ever German league title with Leverkusen. However, one of his former teammates has claimed that Alonso may have his heart set on Liverpool.
Speaking on German TV station ARD (via Football Transfers), Schweinsteiger said: "I know Xabi and I believe that it is his big dream to coach Liverpool one day. I certainly think it's possible that he will move to Liverpool in the summer."
"I want him to stay in the Bundesliga for a bit longer because he is a godsend for the Bundesliga. Were it not for Leverkusen being so good, Bayern would already be miles ahead in terms of points. Then the situation would be different. But because Leverkusen are so good, we have a title race."
Schweinsteiger and Alonso spent a season together as midfielders at Bayern Munich in 2014/15, during which they won the Bundesliga.
Nine years on, Alonso stands between his old club winning a 12th consecutive Bundesliga crown due to the surprise form of Leverkusen.
Alonso's side are unbeaten in all competitions in 2023/24 and sit two points clear of Bayern at the top of the league table after 20 games played.
Speaking last month following Klopp's exit announcement, Alonso insisted he is happy where he is.
He told reporters: "I was surprised by Jurgen's news. I have huge respect for Jurgen and Liverpool. At the moment I am really happy here and enjoying my work. Each day and game is a challenge. We are in an intense and beautiful journey here at Leverkusen.
"Speculation is normal, but I have great respect and admiration for what Jurgen has done at Liverpool in the last nine years, and how he's done it. He has a connection with the fans, he's done a great job, but my focus is here at Bayer Leverkusen.
"I have great motivation to do a good job here, I'm very happy with the team, with the club, with everything, so that's my focus. My focus isn't on May, it's on tomorrow ahead of our game against Gladbach and helping my players to be ready. But what I will say is it was surprising what happened at Liverpool with Jurgen leaving."