Alonso, who has enjoyed a record-breaking start to his managerial career with Bayer Leverkusen, paid a glowing tribute to Klopp ahead of the surprise Bundesliga leaders’ game against Borussia Monchengladbach on Saturday.
The former Liverpool midfielder has put himself firmly in the frame to succeed Klopp after masterminding an unbeaten start to the season stretching back 27 games across all competitions, with Leverkusen four points clear of 11-time reigning champions Bayern Munich in the league.
Alonso, who only joined the club just over a year ago and signed a new contract in the summer until the end of the 2025-26 season, said: “I am not in that moment to think about the next thing. I’m just thinking about where I am right now. And I think that I’m in a great place and I am enjoying it. And I think it’s the right place. That’s all I can say.
“I don’t know what my pace [of my career] is. My pace is what’s going to be the pace of the team on Saturday, to be honest, because that’s what really matters.
“What is going to happen in the future, I don’t know, and I don’t really care at the moment.”
Alonso described Klopp’s announcement that he was leaving Liverpool at the end of the season as “a surprise”.
He added: “I have huge respect for Jurgen, huge admiration, before coming to Liverpool and during his years there. It has become even bigger and it has grown, for what he has achieved and the way he has achieved that.
“At the moment, I am really happy here, I am enjoying my work here. I am feeling that each day is a challenge, each game is a challenge. And we are in an intense but in a beautiful journey here in Leverkusen.”