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4 clubs including Liverpool are ‘working’ on Xabi Alonso deal, says Bayern president


Bayern Munich honorary president Uli Hoeness admits it will not be easy to prise Xabi Alonso away from Bayer Leverkusen due to competition from Liverpool and Real Madrid.

The reigning German champions look set to lose their Bundesliga title to Alonso’s Leverkusen side as they trail their rivals by 10 points.

That situation prompted the early announcement of Bayern coach Thomas Tuchel’s departure at the end of the season but Jurgen Klopp revealing in January he was leaving Anfield in the summer has hastened proceedings as a host of big-name clubs battle to find new managers this summer.

Alonso, 42, is rated as one of Europe’s top young coaches with Leverkusen still unbeaten this season and heading towards their first Bundesliga title and has been installed as the bookmakers’ favourite to replace Klopp at Liverpool.

However, with two of the ex-Spain midfielder’s other former clubs also seemingly in competition for his services, the race is more complicated, although Carlo Ancelotti’s future at Real currently appears secure with the team eight points clear in LaLiga with the Italian signing a contract extension to 2026 in December.

“He’s (Alonso) proven that he can be a coach for the big time. There are hardly any suitable coaches who are currently free,” Hoeness told a panel at the Munich Trade Fair.

December 11, 2017 - Nyon, Schweiz - Nyon, 11.12.2017, Fussball, Auslosung Champions League, Das Los des Liverpool FC (ENG) wird gezogen. Im Bild ist Xabi Alonso (UEFA Champions League Final Ambassador) (Credit Image: © Pascal Muller/EQ Images via ZUMA Press)

“Rather they are coaches who are under contract somewhere and possibly have great success.

“And that makes it much more difficult because clubs like Liverpool, Real Madrid, Leverkusen and FC Bayern are working on it (securing Alonso).

“It’s not so easy to tell them that Bayern is the measure of all things.”

The public comments made by the 72-year-old, who is also a supervisory board member with the Bavarian club, are unlikely to impress Bayern’s new director of sport Max Eberl.

On Wednesday, Eberl gave an interview to German newspaper Bild in which he said he did not want to provoke Alonso headlines and insisted he had not spoken to any potential candidates, which numbered “more than four but not 40 names” on an “unusual” list of successors.

“We have a list that we would like to work through in peace and have conversations in peace,” said Eberl.

Liverpool’s attempts to find Klopp’s replacement are expected to accelerate following Wednesday’s appointment of a new sporting director in Richard Hughes from Bournemouth.

Hughes was the driving force behind the appointment of Cherries head coach Andoni Iraola, whose agent Inaki Ibanez is the long-time representative of Alonso.

However, Hughes would have secured the appointment of Roberto De Zerbi – another being linked with Liverpool – had there not been a delay due in the change of the club’s ownership which allowed Brighton to secure the Italian.

Sporting’s Ruben Amorim is another likely to be on Liverpool’s short list.