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Liverpool face battle with Barcelona to secure Alonso as next manager

Xabi Alonso, Bayer 04 Leverkusen head coach, applauds during the DFB cup quarterfinal match between Bayer 04 Leverkusen and VfB Stuttgart at BayArena.
Xabi Alonso is high in demand after his work with Bayer Leverkusen. (Picture: Getty)

Barcelona have joined Liverpool in the race to hire Xabi Alonso as their next head coach, with both clubs looking for managerial replacements at the end of the season.

The Catalan giants are on the hunt for a successor to Xavi after the legendary ex-Spain midfielder announced he would leave the club at the end of the season.

A number of high-profile managers – including Jose Mourinho and Mikel Arteta – have been linked with the job, but Barca are also said to be sounding out some exciting younger coaches to take over at Camp Nou.

According to Mundo Deportivo, Brighton’s Roberto De Zerbi is of interest as well as Bayer Leverkusen boss Xabi Alonso.

Alonso, whose first coaching role came with Real Madrid’s U14s, has enjoyed a stellar season in the Bundesliga, with Leverkusen still unbeaten and sitting two points clear of Bayern Munich.

Barcelona, though, may have a fight on their hands to secure the Spaniard’s services, with Alonso said to be a top target for Liverpool to replace Jurgen Klopp.

Jurgen Klopp Manager of Liverpool reacts after the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Liverpool FC at Emirates Stadium on February 4, 2024
Jurgen Klopp is set to leave Anfield at the end of the season (Picture: Getty)

The German recently announced his shock decision to leave the Reds at the end of this season and the former Liverpool midfielder is said to be top of the pile for potential replacements.

Former Bayern team-mate Bastian Schweinsteiger recently suggested that it is Alonso’s ‘big dream’ to take over the reins at Liverpool in the summer.

‘I know Xabi and I think his big dream is to coach Liverpool,’ the ex-Bayern, Manchester United and Germany midfielder told ARD.

‘I can already imagine that it could be this summer that he is going to Liverpool.’

Alonso, meanwhile, has been tight-lipped about his future and insisted his focus remains on Leverkusen when quizzed on the speculation last month.

‘I’m happy here right now, that’s for sure, and only thinking about Leverkusen,’ the 42-year-old said.

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