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Xabi Alonso confirms decision to stay at Leverkusen: “This is the right place”

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Xabi Alonso has confirmed his decision to remain at Bayer Leverkusen this summer, informing the German club of his decision during the international break.

Speaking at a press conference on Friday, the Spaniard said:

“It’s been a season we have had a lot of speculation regarding my future. Until now we have had so many games, been pretty busy and focused, and I wanted to reflect during the international break and take a decision.

“Last week I had a very good meeting when I informed of them [Leverkusen’s directors] of my decision to continue being coach of Bayer Leverkusen. For sure all the decisions you need to analyse well. I try to take the right ones, I try to take them in a natural way.

Despite Leverkusen’s incredible position 10 points clear at the top of the Bundesliga, this is still only Alonso’s first full season in charge and he has pointed out this, too, saying:

“At the moment this is the right place for me to develop as a coach, I am a young coach. Right now this is the right place.

Xabi Alonso’s Bayer Leverkusen beat Freiburg to re-establish their 10-point lead at the top of the Bundesliga (Tom Weller/AP)

“I have to thank the management. The club had been supportive and I feel respected by all departments. The fans they have shown great support and they have reasons to believe and dream we will have a great season.

“I have a great staff to help me work day by day, and so for sure the players.”

Alonso reportedly told the Leverkusen players of his decision on Friday morning, shortly before the press conference.

News broke on Thursday evening that he intended to remain at the club, thus turning down the opportunity to manage either Liverpool or Bayern Munich.

Alonso added: “Last week was my deadline for sure. All my cards on the table. I have thought about the decision because you need to reflect well.

“Once I took it I felt I needed to share it with everyone. It is a sign of respect. I informed the players at a team talk this morning. We have prepared in a normal way.

“You guys did a lot of speculation – even since last May! It’s part of the business, and I haven’t been stressed by it.

“It was important it wasn’t affecting the team and the mentality of the team was good. Everything is clear.”

Seemingly, after making his decision, Alonso’s representatives informed both Liverpool and Bayern that he would not be available this summer.

Now, Liverpool’s frontrunner for the job is Sporting’s Ruben Amorim. Other contenders are Roberto de Zerbi and Julian Nagelsmann.