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Fabrizio Romano ‘confirms’ Alonso and De Zerbi on Liverpool manager shortlist

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Fabrizio Romano shares Liverpool’s current managerial shortlist.

  • Xabi Alonso and Roberto De Zerbi are among Liverpool’s managerial targets to replace Jurgen Klopp, as confirmed by Fabrizio Romano.
  •  Liverpool are on the lookout for a new manager following Klopp’s decision to step down from the role.
  •  However, Romano believes no decisions will be made until Liverpool have appointed a new sporting director instead.

Liverpool currently have both Xabi Alonso and Roberto De Zerbi on their confirmed list of managerial targets to replace Jurgen Klopp, journalist Fabrizio Romano has revealed exclusively to GIVEMESPORT.

The Reds are currently on the lookout for a new manager who can take over from Klopp at the end of the season, after the legendary German boss announced he’ll be stepping down from the role in the summer. While it may have come as a shock to most, it’s suggested Liverpool have been working behind the scenes for several months already, identifying candidates who could be picked out as suitable Klopp replacements.

News which understandably shook the Liverpool dressing room, fanbase and wider footballing world to the core, the decision taken by Klopp to announce his departure mid-season has led to plenty of questions. However, it’s suggested the Liverpool players are hoping to use it to their advantage, with reports from the Athletic claiming they view the final half of the 2023/24 season as a ‘last dance’ with their long-time gaffer.

Away from the pitch though, it promises to be a turbulent few months behind-the-scenes for Liverpool, as they look to rebuild and prepare themselves for the post-Klopp era. It’s claimed that will start with the appointment of a new sporting director, with the incumbent Jorg Schmadtke set to leave his position in the coming days.

Schmadtke, who took up the role in the summer, was only ever considered to be a place-holder, with the Reds now searching for a long-term option that can shape their managerial search.

Edwards mentioned among Liverpool sporting director candidates

One surprise name that emerged in the aftermath of Klopp’s announcement was former sporting director Michael Edwards, who departed Anfield less than two years ago. Touted as the brains behind the Klopp era, Edwards had reportedly been offered the chance to come back to the club and help steer Liverpool back on track again.

Despite this, Edwards is said to have turned down Liverpool’s approach, making it clear to the Liverpool hierarchy that he has no intention of returning. It’s forced the Merseyside outfit to seek out alternative options, with Bournemouth’s Richard Hughes one man currently being touted.

The Daily Mail are reporting that Hughes, who has impressed during his role with the Cherries, is on the list of potential options, should Liverpool decide to appoint a home-grown sporting director. The former midfielder originally joined the Bournemouth backroom staff during Eddie Howe’s reign and has since worked his way through the ranks, and has proven he’s capable of working under strict budget guidelines – something that will appeal to the Fenway Sports Group.

Fabrizio Romano update – Manager decision dependent on sporting director hire

Who Liverpool appoint as their sporting director is going to be important, as they’ll have a huge say over who Liverpool target to replace Klopp. Right now, journalist Romano has told GIVEMESPORT that there are two names on the six-time European champions’ shortlist, with Alonso and De Zerbi commanding all the attention at Anfield.

On Liverpool’s search for a new manager, the Italian journalist revealed to GIVEMESPORT:

“I still insist on two names confirmed who are Xabi Alonso and Roberto De Zerbi, who for sure are on the list. But I’m sure they will take their time and I’m still sure that Liverpool want to appoint a sporting director before deciding who is going to be the new manager. So it’s going to be a new project with many things to decide, not just the manager and this is why I think they’re going to take some time.”

Candidates are keeping cards close to their chest

Irrespective of which club a manager is currently at, when Liverpool come knocking, it’s difficult to turn them down. But one complication that could stand in the way of Liverpool’s pursuit of Alonso is the current Bundesliga title race.

Alonso has led Bayer Leverkusen to the top of the Bundesliga, which may hamper Liverpool’s chances of landing the Spanish coach. When quizzed about the soon-to-be-vacant manager’s role at Liverpool, Alonso was coy about his future prospects, keeping his cards close to his chest:

“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.”

While enough time currently sits between now and Klopp’s eventual departure, Liverpool will want an idea of where they’re at with the appointment, and if Alonso isn’t willing to play ball yet, they could be forced to look elsewhere.

 

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