Liverpool gain ‘advantage’ over Bayern in Alonso race while duo ‘score very highly’ on Reds shortlist

Joe Williams
Liverpool target Xabi Alonso during a press conference.
Xabi Alonso during a press conference.

Liverpool could have an advantage in the battle to beat Bayern Munich to Bayer Leverkusen boss Xabi Alonso, according to reports.

The Reds are on the lookout for a new manager this summer with Jurgen Klopp announcing earlier this year that he will be stepping down at the end of the season to take a break from football.

Liverpool job seen as more stable than Bayern Munich?

Alonso was the clear favourite with the bookmakers as soon as Klopp made his announcement but there have been doubts whether the Spaniard will choose to leave Leverkusen this summer.

As well as the potential for Alonso to stay at Leverkusen, who are currently leading the Bundesliga by ten points with eight matches remaining, Liverpool will have to battle it out with Bayern Munich for his signature.

Bayern Munich have been rumoured to have the upper hand over Liverpool as reports in Germany claim Alonso wants to remain in the Bundesliga.

However, a report in GiveMeSport claims Liverpool ‘have an advantage over reigning Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich in the race to appoint’ Alonso.

READ MORE: Who will replace Jurgen Klopp as next Liverpool manager? Poch and Pereira on list

GiveMeSport adds:

‘Liverpool may have moved ahead of Bayern in the battle to lure Alonso away from Leverkusen as heading to Anfield is a more attractive prospect thanks to Fenway Sports Group having a track record of giving managers plenty of time to stamp their authority, according to GMS sources.’

Former CBS Sports journalist Ben Jacobs has also been giving an update on the potential other candidates apart from Alonso with Sporting Lisbon’s Ruben Amorim and Germany’s Julian Nagelsmann impressing.

Jacobs told GiveMeSport: “Liverpool, as they always do, will have more than one option. So, it’s fair to call Alonso a leading candidate, if not the leading candidate.

“I think Roberto De Zerbi could also be considered simply because Richard Hughes has a bit of history looking at him for Bournemouth. Ruben Amorim is not quite as high up, but he is there and could well make the final shortlist because he scores very highly in the data analysis. That’s the same for Julian Nagelsmann.

“However, data only gets you so far because Liverpool will want to understand the practical reality of who will be the best transitional fit, personality fit, strategic fit, and football coach. This is why their process will be done on their terms and their timescale, and they will be extremely thorough.”

And journalist Neil Jones, who has covered Liverpool for many years, has brought another update on the situation surrounding Alonso and the Reds’ hunt for a new manager.

Jones wrote in his Caught Offside column: “The situation regarding Xabi Alonso remains unchanged for now as far as I’m aware; there has been no indication of what he wants to do in the summer as his focus remains very much on Bayer Leverkusen and what could be an incredible end to the season.

“German reports suggest that Bayern Munich is his favoured destination, but Alonso and his camp have been very quiet and until there is any clarity from their side, I think it’s a case of wait and see.

“What is clear, as said previously, is that he is going to have at least three options to choose from this summer. Not a bad place for any young manager to be in!

Jones: Liverpool will do extensive research before appointing their next manager

“If Alonso is not available, one thing is for certain now that Michael Edwards is in place as Fenway Sports Group’s CEO of football; Liverpool will do extensive research before appointing their next manager.

“Edwards has always championed a data-driven approach to recruitment, and that will certainly be the case with finding Jurgen Klopp’s successor. Liverpool’s research team, led by Will Spearman, have already been hard at work, and there will already have been a whittling-down of contenders.

“In terms of names, it should not surprise you to learn that Ruben Amorim is well thought of within Liverpool, and Roberto De Zerbi is another strong contender. De Zerbi would have been in contention to take over at Bournemouth in 2022 when Richard Hughes was technical director, but for a change in ownership at the Cherries, and Hughes is a known fanatic of Italian football and Italian methodology.

“Edwards and Hughes also have strong relationships with both Eddie Howe and Gary O’Neil, but I don’t expect either of those two to come into contention for the role this summer. If O’Neil were to continue impressing at Wolves, however, then I wouldn’t rule out the idea of him coming onto Liverpool’s radar in the future.”