Xabi Alonso tipped to replace Jurgen Klopp in 2026 after signing Bayer Leverkusen contact
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For some time, Xabi Alonso has been touted to become Liverpool manager when Jurgen Klopp's contract expires in 2026.
The former Reds midfielder, who made over 150 appearances for the Premier League club between 2004 and 2009, has so far impressed during his short, but successful stint at Bundesliga side Bayer Leverkusen.
In fact, after taking over in October last year, when the club were languishing in 17th, Alonso led them to a Europa League semi-final before qualifying for Europe with a sixth place finish.
As a result of his success, a number of top European clubs have been linked with a move for the Spaniard, including Bayern Munich and Real Madrid.
But the 41-year-old squashed those rumours on Friday, when he penned a new three-year deal with Leverkusen.
"I am thankful for this faith that Bayer 04 puts in me,' said Alonso. "The fact that we have the same ideas and directions in sporting matters shows great proximity and faith between club bosses and myself."
Alonso's three-year deal will, of course, expire in the summer of 2026, which coincidentally [or not so coincidentally?] links to the end of Jurgen Klopp's current deal at Liverpool.
Back in April last year, the 56-year-old German signed a two-year contract extension to keep him at the club until 2026.
Klopp had previously suggested he could step down at the end of his deal in 2024 but that changed last summer, with assistants Pepijn Lijnders and Peter Krawietz also put pen to paper on new contracts.
“Like any healthy relationship, it always has to be a two-way street; you have to be right for each other," Klopp said at the time.
"The feeling we were absolutely right for each other is what brought me here in the first place and it’s why I’ve extended previously."
As mentioned by Goal reporter Neil Jones in January, Liverpool will naturally have a close eye on Alonso's progress. "Jurgen Klopp, of course, is still contracted until 2026, but the struggles of Steven Gerrard at Aston Villa mean his presumed successor is far from obvious," he said.
"Alonso remains fondly remembered by Reds fans, and has nothing but good memories of his own from his five years on Merseyside."
Do you think Alonso should take over at Liverpool when Jurgen Klopp does decide to leave?
Let us know in the comments.