Xabi Alonso has had to face the press immediately following Jurgen Klopp’s announcement of his impending resignation from Liverpool - with the Spaniard immediately presented as the favourite for the job in summer 2024.
The World Cup-winning midfielder spent five seasons at Anfield during his playing days, making him one of the first candidates for consideration among the wider population and the first choice by bookmakers’ odds.
But while Klopp has called for Liverpool’s focus to be on the matches ahead and the potential for silverware this season, Alonso’s Bayer Leverkusen team are also in the running for major honours, which only adds to the appeal that he might trade one challenging team for another at the end of the campaign.
Speaking at his pre-match press conference, however, Alonso put the brakes on any such discussions as he insisted his own attention was similarly on preparations for their upcoming Bundesliga game at home to Borussia Monchengladbach.
“Speculation is normal, my focus is here on Bayer Leverkusen,” he said. “I am very happy at Leverkusen with my players at the moment.
“Big surprise in Liverpool, of course — for what Jurgen did in Liverpool, I have great respect and admiration”.
On the potential for a future move, Alonso would not be pressed, saying he was in a good moment at Leverkusen.
“I am not in that moment to think about the next step. I’m in a great place, I’m enjoying it and I think it’s the right place. That’s all I can say. What’s going to happen in the future I don’t know and I don’t really care at the moment.”
Leverkusen sit top of the Bundesliga after 18 matches, four points clear of reigning champions Bayern Munich - who have won the last 11 German titles. Leverkusen last finished runners-up in 2011 and have never won the top flight. Their only major domestic cup honour in their history was winning the 1993 DFB-Pokal, while their only other trophy was 1988 Uefa Cup.