Liverpool to omit Xabi Alonso from managerial shortlist to replace Jurgen Klopp

Xabi Alonso is not expected to be on Liverpool’s managerial shortlist this summer after they concluded he is not likely to be available.

Bayer Leverkusen have pronounced themselves confident of keeping the former Liverpool midfielder, who has taken them to the brink of a first Bundesliga title, and though Alonso is also a target for Bayern Munich, the belief at Anfield is that he will not be on the market this year.

Alonso, a 2005 Champions League winner during his five years as a Liverpool player, had been seen as the favourite to replace Jurgen Klopp, who is standing down at the end of the season, but not by the Merseyside club.

It means Liverpool are likely to look elsewhere with Sporting Lisbon’s Ruben Amorim of interest and Brighton’s Roberto De Zerbi a manager the incoming sporting director, Richard Hughes, had wanted previously during his time at Bournemouth.

Hughes and Michael Edwards, who has been appointed Fenway Sports Group’s CEO of football, will be charged with appointing Klopp’s successor. Liverpool’s director of research, Will Spearman, is also expected to be involved, with data likely to form part of their process for identifying candidates.

Klopp had praised Alonso last month, calling him the “stand-out” manager in the next generation and saying he was doing an “absolutely exceptional” job at Leverkusen, his first senior managerial post.

Bayern may have also admitted defeat in their attempts to appoint Alonso, with honorary president Uli Hoeness admitting it will be very hard to get the 2010 World Cup winner to take over from the departing Thomas Tuchel.

Xabi Alonso has guided Bayer Leverkusen to the top of the Bundesliga (AP)
Xabi Alonso has guided Bayer Leverkusen to the top of the Bundesliga (AP)

“We’ll have to see if we can do it this year,” he said. “It will be difficult, if not probably impossible.

“[He] is more inclined to stay at Bayer Leverkusen in view of their current successes, because he would not want to leave them behind.”