Former Liverpool midfielder Xabi Alonso looks set to leave his post as manager of Bayer Leverkusen in 2024.
Alonso has been an excellent appointment for Bayer, taking them from a relegation battle into the European places in just a few months. This has sparked plenty of interest from fans of his former clubs, including Liverpool.
The Reds are said to be ‘aware’ of Alonso’s impressive start as a head coach and are reportedly keeping a close eye on him. But according to Sport Bild, another of Xabi’s old clubs is taking an even keener interest in his progress.
They claim that Real Madrid potentially has their eye on Alonso to take over in 2024 when Carlo Ancelotti’s contract ends. The Spaniard’s deal with Leverkusen also ends at the same time, and it’s said that Alonso will be ‘likely’ to walk away from the club at that time.
That’s slightly disappointing to hear. We’d rather have Jurgen Klopp in charge until at least 2026, but right now Alonso looks like the perfect successor. If Madrid takes him off the market, that might no longer be possible.
Alonso on Madrid’s radar
Alonso certainly has all the makings of being a brilliant manager. Having taken his time picking his first head coach role, the World Cup winner has fitted like a glove at Bayer Leverkusen.
For a player who learned under the likes of Pep Guardiola, Jose Mourinho, and Ancelotti, that’s hardly a surprise.
The 41-year-old spent his whole career at the very highest level of football and seems tailor-made to handle the pressures of the job.
Clearly, with the greatest of respect, Leverkusen is not Madrid. Things will be ramped up if Xabi heads to Santiago Bernabeu. But he knows that only too well.
With Ancelotti’s contract up in a year, it seems like if Alonso carries on doing well, the timing might be right for him.
If he does go there and impress, it doesn’t necessarily rule him out of the Liverpool job down the line. It won’t be free until at least 2026, and Madrid does tend to go through coaches, no matter how well they do.
Nevertheless, it would reduce the likelihood that Alonso will be free and available when Klopp eventually leaves the Reds. Thankfully, that’s still a way off, but this is something to keep an eye on.