Tactical Insights

Leverkusen star tells Alonso he ‘will not follow’ him to Anfield as he ‘prefers’ Barcelona

Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Florian Wirtz has told Xabi Alonso that he will not join him at Liverpool in the summer, according to reports.

It is far from clear whether Alonso will even move to Anfield at the end of the season despite being favourite to succeed Jurgen Klopp with the bookmakers.

Bayern Munich reports are not that concerning

There have been rumours in recent days that Bayern Munich are ahead of Liverpool in the race to convince Alonso to join as the Spaniard is worried about following Klopp.

The Liverpool boss made an announcement earlier this year that he would be leaving Anfield at the end of the season to take a break from football.

There has previously been speculation that Liverpool was Alonso’s ‘clear preference’ if he was to leave Bayer Leverkusen in the summer and reliable reporter Neil Jones has explained that current reports should be taken with a pinch of salt.

Jones, who has been covering Liverpool for many years, wrote in his Caught Offside column: “To be honest, I think the situation with Alonso is that there are a lot of people trying to guess and speculate as to his intentions, when the reality is that his primary focus will be, and has to be, on finishing a huge job with Bayer Leverkusen this season.

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“Clearly, he is going to have a big decision to make soon, because both Liverpool and Bayern Munich will be calling him, if they haven’t already, and Leverkusen will surely be making a pitch for him to stay for at least one more season too.”

There have been rumours that Alonso could take players with him to Liverpool if he decides to leave Bayer Leverkusen, as reported, at the end of the season.

Alonso has guided an unbeaten Leverkusen to top of the Bundesliga standings with defending champions Bayern Munich in second place and ten points adrift of the Spaniard’s men.

Florian Wirtz wants to join Barcelona and not Liverpool

But Alonso will struggle to take Florian Wirtz with him at the end of the season as Spanish publication Nacional claim that the Leverkusen attacking has told Alonso ‘that he wants to go to’ Barcelona in the summer and ‘will not follow’ him to Liverpool.

The 20-year-old, who has contributed eight goals and 14 assists in all competitions this season, will have his pick of clubs in the summer but Alonso ‘wants’ him to join his next project.

However, the €100m-rated Germany international ‘prefers’ Barcelona to Liverpool and Wirtz has ‘always confessed that his great dream is to play’ for the Catalan giants.

Speaking in April 2022, Wirtz said: “I always wanted to be the best, as a child I dreamed of playing for Barça and that has not changed.”

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