Xabi Alonso made Liverpool U-turn after director talks as Richard Hughes targets £120.5m trio

Will Ford
Liverpool target Xabi Alonso
Xabi Alonso was the favourite to replace Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool.

Xabi Alonso was ‘on the brink’ of agreeing to join Liverpool at the end of the season before talks with the Bayer Leverkusen director of football.

Alonso was Liverpool’s number one choice to replace Jurgen Klopp at Anfield before announcing in a press conference last month that it was his ambition to remain as Leverkusen boss for at least another season.

Bags packed for Liverpool

The German side are on course to win a sensational treble this season and despite interest from Liverpool and Bayern Munich, Alonso insists the BayArena is “the right place for me to be, to develop as a coach.”

Ruben Amorim has since replaced Alonso as the firm favourite to take the helm at Liverpool, but Football Transfers have revealed the Reds did indeed come close to persuading Alonso to join.

READ MORE: Five reasons Liverpool should be glad they dodged a bullet with Xabi Alonso…

They claim the former midfielder ‘was on the brink of a sensational return to Liverpool, before changing his mind’ after talks with Bayer’s director of sport, Simon Rolfe, as well as chairman Fernando Carro.

In those talks Alonso is said to have made it clear ‘that if he was to stay on as Bayer manager certain players were not to be sold in the summer’.

Florian Wirtz in particular is a player hugely admired by some of Europe’s elite teams, including Liverpool and Manchester City, but Edmond Tapsoba, Piero Hincapie, Alejandro Grimaldo, Jeremie Frimpong and Victor Boniface have also been linked with a move this summer.

Richard Hughes targets trio

And that same report claims Liverpool, along with Arsenal and Bayern, ‘admire’ Grimaldo and are considering a move for the wing-back.

The 28-year-old – valued at £38.5m by Transfermarkt – moved to Leverkusen on a free transfer from Benfica in the summer and has played a huge role in the club’s incredible run this season, contributing an astonishing 26 goal contributions in all competitions.

But having turned their attention to Sporting boss Amorim, it’s no great surprise that Liverpool are now also being linked with a number of the Portuguese side’s star players.

And Football Insider claim new sporting director Richard Hughes has set his sights on £52m-rated centre-back Goncalo Inacio and Tottenham academy graduate Marcus Edwards, who’s previously been linked with a £30m return to the Premier League, with Manchester United and Spurs both supposedly keen.

READ MORE: Five Sporting players Ruben Amorim should bring with him to Liverpool