Xabi Alonso rules himself out of Liverpool job

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Bayer Leverkusen manager Xabi Alonso took to his press conference today to confirm that he will stay with the Bundesliga club next season after taking the international break to evaluate his immediate future.

Liverpool are on the hunt for the next manager to succeed Jurgen Klopp after the German coach decided to cut his time short on Merseyside and take a break from football management to focus on his health.

Fenway Sports Group will be under no illusion that they have an almost impossible task of replacing the 56-year-old manager, who has become a legend of not only the club, but the city too after winning the Champions League and the club’s first Premier League title, giving Liverpool supporters all over the world someone to believe in.

It will be a bitter pill for many as Klopp challenges in the final few fixtures to secure at least one other trophy with an opportunity to win either the Premier League title, a Europa League trophy, or both, and there is no doubt the Liverpool boss will want to go out on a high.

It was Xabi Alonso who quickly became the favourite to succeed Klopp at Anfield, a man who is not only a former Liverpool player with a strong connection to the club, but a young and upcoming manager who has been taking European football by storm with Bayer Leverkusen – where he remains unbeaten in all competitions at present.

However, despite mounting speculation that Liverpool would compete with German powerhouse Bayern Munich to secure Alonso’s signature this summer, the Leverkusen has now confirmed that he will continue with his current Bundesliga club and will focus on polishing his craft by staying put next season.

Speaking to the media on Friday afternoon, the 42-year-old confirmed (via BBC Sport):

“It’s been a season we have had a lot of speculation regarding my future,”

“Until now we have had so many games, been pretty busy and focused, and I wanted to reflect during the international break and take a decision.

“The players, they gave me so many reasons to keep believing in the team, for their commitment, for their desire, for their hunger to have a great season. My job is not over here.”

“I am convinced it is the right decision, I am happy,”

Who is linked with the Liverpool job?

There is no doubt that Alonso’s confirmation of his commitment to Leverkusen will be a blow to Liverpool fans as they consider who could be drafted in to replace Klopp this summer.

Indeed, it would’ve been ideal to bring in a manager who has strong knowledge and understanding of the club’s culture, however, there is nothing more important than bringing in a manager who is fully invested in keeping the future bright on the red side of Merseyside and if Alonso is not interested, then it is time to move onto other candidates.

The two most talked about candidates who could potentially become the next Liverpool boss are Brighton and Hove Albion’s Roberto De Zerbi and Sporting CP’s Ruben Amorim, with both bringing vastly different experience and styles of play to the role.

Not only that a couple of English names have been thrown into the hat too with Newcastle United’s Eddie Howe touted as a potential option, whilst England manager Gareth Southgate has also been floated by the media as a potential alternative to Alonso.

With that being said, it will be interesting to see which direction FSG go in now that Alonso has ruled himself out of the role, but they must act fast and with confidence as there are only a few months left to get a decision made and a contract signed.

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