Xabi Alonso name-checks Liverpool prior to Europa League draw

Bayer Leverkusen manager Xabi Alonso has suggested that Liverpool are the favourites to win this season's Europa League.

Liverpool have breezed through Europe's second most prestigious competition so far, most recently securing their spot in the quarter-final after an astonishing 11-2 aggregate victory over Sparta Prague.

As a result, the Reds will face Italian side Atalanta in the final eight following Friday's draw, with a potential clash against Benfica or Marseille on the horizon in the semi-final.

Former Liverpool midfielder Xabi Alonso has been strongly linked with succeeding Jurgen Klopp at Anfield this summer as he continues to dazzle at Bayer Leverkusen, with the German side also in the Europa League quarter-final following a late victory over Qarabag in the last 16.

However, despite his side's impressive displays and unbeaten record this campaign, Alonso has named Liverpool as the favourites for this season's Europa League crown.

"For me it’s clear, I really see Liverpool as the favourites to win the Europa League," Alonso said prior to the recent quarter-final draw.

The Reds are the overwhelming favourites to win the Europa League for the first time under Klopp and could still face Alonso's Leverkusen in the final of the competition in May.

The Bundesliga outfit were drawn against West Ham United in the quarter-final and will face either Milan or Roma in the final four if they progress.

It would be an incredible narrative should Liverpool and Leverkusen both reach the final in Dublin, especially given it could be both Klopp and Alonso's final game in charge of their respective clubs.

The Reds are not the only side fighting for Alonso's signature, with another of his former employers Bayern Munich eager to appoint the 42-year-old this summer.

Leverkusen are set to win their first ever Bundesliga title this term after wiping the floor with Bayern so far this season, with Die Werkself currently a whopping ten points ahead of the current champions.

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