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Liverpool journalists clear up club’s stance on Xabi Alonso talks amid Bayern interest

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After reports going back and forth in Germany over whether or not Xabi Alonso has ‘chosen’ Bayern Munich, Liverpool journalists have given the club’s stance.

If you believe sources in Germany, Alonso has either already held talks or decided to join the club his Bayer Leverkusen side are battling for the title.

Given the Spaniard has publicly insisted his focus is on Leverkusen, and a campaign that is yet to see them lose as they sit 10 points clear at the top of the Bundesliga, that seems highly unlikely.

It is perhaps telling that those claims have almost solely come from Germany, with the perception being that Bayern are feeding the reports.

In England – bar a report from the Telegraph‘s Jason Burt in which he claimed Bayern are “increasingly confident they have the advantage” – there have been fewer updates.

But as Merseyside journalists brought the news of Fenway Sports Group’s talks with Michael Edwards on Thursday night, there was also an insight into the club’s stance on Alonso.

2KA9M23 Leverkusen, Germany. 01st Nov, 2022. Soccer: Champions League, Bayer Leverkusen - FC Brugge, Group Stage, Group B, Matchday 6, BayArena. Leverkusen coach Xabi Alonso looks ahead to the match. Credit: Marius Becker/dpa/Alamy Live News

The Times‘ Paul Joyce, the Telegraph‘s Chris Bascombe and the Guardian‘s Andy Hunter were among those to report, almost certainly from sources within Liverpool.

All three journalists maintain that Alonso is the club’s leading candidate, even though Sporting CP’s Ruben Amorim is considered as an alternative.

Unlike Bayern, however, Liverpool “wish to respect his attempts to win the Bundesliga with Bayer Leverkusen rather than enter a public courtship.”

According to Hunter, Alonso is “acutely aware of Liverpool’s interest,” with Bascombe echoing that the 42-year-old is “fully aware he is on FSG’s radar.”

While the motivation for Bayern could partly be destabilising their title rivals at a crucial stage with speculation over their manager, those at Anfield are seemingly happy to wait.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, October 14, 2017: Former Liverpool player Xabi Alonso before the FA Premier League match between Liverpool and Manchester United at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

As Bascombe adds: “Conversations can be held as and when all parties deem it most appropriate.”

There is, of course, an element of urgency in Liverpool’s pursuit of a successor to Jurgen Klopp, but it is a much more comfortable position than, say, if a club had sacked their manager mid-season.

A data-led search for a replacement is underway at the club, but the announcement of Klopp’s resignation – which was made public in January – effectively served as a job advert for the most ambitious managers across Europe.

Perhaps there is a sense that, given Alonso’s known affinity for Liverpool, FSG don’t need to roll out the red carpet as desperately as a struggling Bayern.