Bayer Leverkusen coach Xabi Alonso has already admitted that taking over at Premier League giants Liverpool would be a ‘dream’ with Jurgen Klopp now confirming his departure from the Anfield outfit.
As the dust settles following the bombshell that was Jurgen Klopp’s imminent Liverpool exit, the comments Xabi Alonso made during an interview with talkSPORT back in 2018 feel all the more intriguing.
Xabi Alonso favourite to replace Jurgen Klopp
“Yes, for sure, I have dreamt of that,” Alonso said when asked about a potential return to Merseyside as a manager. “But, first, I have to prove myself and prepare.”
It’s fair to say Alonso has certainly done that.
Alonso’s thrilling Bayer Leverkusen side have won a staggering 24 out of 27 games in all competitions in 2023/24, sitting four points clear of Bayern Munich at the top of the Bundesliga and still unbeaten. It’s a job Jose Mourinho recently described as ‘extraordinary’
The Spaniard’s stunning success at the Bay Arena is made even more impressive, too, when you consider he took over in late-2022 when Leverkusen appeared in very real danger of relegation.
“My link, my commitment, my passion with Liverpool is there,” Alonso added during that discussion with Spanish football expert Guillem Balague, highlighting a ‘link’ that saw his name emerge almost instantly as the favourite to follow in Klopp’s shoes.
“Why not (return to Liverpool)? We will see if we can cross paths.”
Legendary manager confirms Liverpool exit
Some have suggested that there is a clause in Alonso’s contract, allowing him to return to the club where he won the FA Cup and the Champions League under Rafael Benitez in the mid-2000s.
Leverkusen CEO Fernando Carro denied back in November, however, that such an arrangement exists. Though it must be said that his comments did little to suggest that the Bundesliga leaders would stand in Alonso’s way.
“No (there is no Liverpool clause),” Carro said. “But you don’t need a clause. We have a very, very good relationship with Xabi and he knows we are a serious club.
“And at the end of the day, we’re not going to force someone to stay if he doesn’t want to stay. There is nothing on paper (that would allow Alonso t return to Anfield). But, sometimes, agreements that are not on paper are agreements as well.
“We know if he needs to do a move in the future we will be able to talk with each other.”
Klopp will leave Liverpool at the end of the current campaign.