HomeSportsLiverpool target Xabi Alonso says staying as Leverkusen coach

Liverpool target Xabi Alonso says staying as Leverkusen coach

Xabi Alonso, who was seen by many as Liverpool’s top target to replace Jurgen Klopp as their manager, said on Friday he is staying at Bundesliga leaders Bayer Leverkusen next season.

“It’s been a season of speculation regarding my future,” he told a press conference.

“Up till now we have been busy and focused on the season and I wanted to reflect during the international break and take a decision.

“Last week I had a meeting when I informed (Leverkusen’s directors) of my decision to continue being coach of Bayer Leverkusen,” added Alonso.

Liverpool, in late January, had announced that their manager would step down at the end of the season.

In a short statement on X, the club revealed that the German communicated his decision to leave to the ownership.

Alonso had also immediately dismissed speculation he could replace Klopp at Liverpool.

The 42-year-old Spaniard has Leverkusen on course for a treble, including their first-ever German league crown.

Alonso said he was still developing as a coach and he felt Leverkusen, his first senior team coaching post, is the best place for him to carry on doing so.

“At the moment this is the right place for me to develop as a coach, I am a young coach,” he said.

“Right now this is the right place. I have to thank the management.

“The club had been supportive and I feel respected by all departments.”

Alonso had been linked with moves to Liverpool, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich, all clubs where he spent time as a player, having done a stunning job at runaway Bundesliga leaders Leverkusen.

Leverkusen are unbeaten this term with 34 victories and four draws and are 10 points clear of Bayern Munich and on track for their first-ever German title with eight games remaining this season.

The former Spain midfielder, who was a member of the side that won the Euro in 2008 and 2012 as well as the 2010 World Cup, is aiming to complete a treble.

Aside from topping the table they are in the final four of the German Cup and the quarter-finals of the Europa League and could potentially meet Liverpool in the final.

Alonso had just been in charge of the Real Sociedad B team when he was appointed Leverkusen coach in October 2022, but he showed he had natural talent as a coach as he saved them from relegation.

As a player, Alonso won titles in England, Germany and Spain as well as the Champions League twice.

During that time he played under several top coaches, including Pep Guardiola, Carlo Ancelotti, Rafa Benitez and Vicente del Bosque.

Meanwhile, Ballon d’Or winner, Lothar Matthaeus on Wednesday said a move to Liverpool in the summer was “not the right option” for in-demand Bayer Leverkusen coach Xabi Alonso.

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