Liverpool made contact with Xabi Alonso over taking over as the club’s manager next season in November, according to a report in France.
Alonso is the overwhelming favourite to become the Reds’ new boss next term on the back of Jurgen Klopp revealing he will be stepping down from his role after eight-and-a-half years in May.
Klopp told supporters in an emotional video message last month that he is ‘running out of energy’ and will be stepping down from his role as manager at the end of the current season.
While the Reds have been somewhat mourning the German’s imminent exit, they are faced with the task of finding someone to replace the man who has helped the club once again become one of the giants of world football.
And, according to Foot Mercato, that process began months ago, with the first contact reportedly already made with the leading candidate after Klopp told the club his bombshell news in secret in November.
Liverpool ‘made contact with Xabi Alonso about replacing Jurgen Klopp back in November’
The Reds are on the hunt for a new manager after Jurgen Klopp announced he will leave the club at the end of the season, and ex-Liverpool midfielder Alonso (above) is a top candidate
Klopp (pictured) told the club he’d be leaving in November, but revealed the news in January
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According to the report, Alonso, who played for Liverpool between 2004 and 2009 and was part of the Champions League winning team of 2005, is top of the club’s list of potential new managers.
While the first contact is likely to be to understand if there is a possibility of the 42-year-old taking over his former side, the matter is more complicated because he is currently manager of Bayer Leverkusen.
After taking over last season in what is his first senior managerial role, Alonso has taken the club to the top of the Bundesliga table, two points ahead of Bayern Munich after 20 games, having won 16 of them and remaining unbeaten.
The former midfielder is understood to be happy at his current club and fully focused on trying to win the league title, though that’s not to say a deal couldn’t still be done.
Alonso played for Liverpool between 2004 and 2009 before departing to sign for Real Madrid
According to Sky Germany’s Florian Plettenberg, the Bundesliga leaders are aware that Alonso is on Liverpool’s shortlist of potential successors for Klopp.
Leverkusen reportedly remain optimistic and assume Alonso will stay at the club this summer, with the Spaniard already involved in their squad planning for next season.
Alonso, who made 210 appearances for Liverpool as a player, has already made a huge impact at Leverkusen despite being in his first full season of senior management.
After taking over the club when they were second-bottom in the Bundesliga in October 2022, he guided them to a sixth-placed finish last season, and the team have become one of Europe’s stand-out clubs this term.
Other candidates for the job include Brighton’s Roberto De Zerbi, Sporting’s Ruben Amorim and Germany’s Julian Nagelsmann.
Roberto De Zerbi remains another candidate to take over at Anfield upon Klopp’s departure
Liverpool owners FSG hired renowned baseball executive Theo Epstein as a ‘senior advisor’
Liverpool’s owners FSG have, meanwhile, appointed an experienced sporting executive as the group prepares to begin the hunt for Klopp’s successor.
Theo Epstein will join FSG as ‘senior advisor’ and is set to oversee sporting matters for Liverpool, baseball franchise the Boston Red Sox, and the Pittsburgh Penguins of the NHL among others.
The 50-year-old spent nearly a decade as the Red Sox’s CEO, overseeing two World Series wins before enjoying further success at president of the Chicago Cubs between 2011 and 2020.