With Xabi Alonso the favourite to take over from Jurgen Klopp, we’ve tried to clear up talk of the Bayer Leverkusen boss having a ‘Liverpool clause’ in his contract.
For many, Alonso seems like the logical choice for Liverpool manager thanks to the remarkable progress he has made at Bayer Leverkusen.
When he took over in October 2022, the team were hovering above the Bundesliga relegation zone. Now, they are four points clear of Alonso’s former club, Bayern Munich, at the top of the table.
This has led to him being one of the hottest managerial prospects in Europe, but how easy would it be for Liverpool to take him from the River Rhine to the River Mersey?
The Spaniard’s contract runs until 2026, and Sky Germany’s Florian Plettenberg reports the club are “optimistic and assume Alonso won’t leave the club in the summer.”
However, German reports have suggested Alonso has a clause in his contract that would allow him to leave for his former clubs, namely Liverpool, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich.
Carro explained: “You don’t need a clause. We have a very, very good relationship with Xabi and he knows that we are a serious club.
“At the end of the day, we are not going to force someone to stay if he doesn’t want to stay.
Xabi Alonso, who is doing an amazing job at Leverkusen, is the early bookies favourite to replace Jurgen Klopp. Leverkusen CEO Fernando Carro told me there's no clause allowing him to leave for #LFC, but added "sometimes agreements that aren't on paper are agreements as well." pic.twitter.com/JrEwK79B49
— Ben Jacobs (@JacobsBen) January 26, 2024
“We want him to feel so happy and so good with us, and he really only wants to stay, and this is our objective.
“[There is] nothing on paper, but sometimes agreements that are not on paper are agreements as well, and we know that if he needs to do a move in the future, we’ll be able to talk with each other.
“I hope that we will not need to do this, because he will stay and be happy in Leverkusen.”
By the sounds of it, the club won’t stand in Alonso’s way if he wants to leave, though whether the boss feels ready for the Liverpool job, or if he is asked by the Reds, is another matter.
There is a scenario in which, having announced Alonso in advance as the new manager, Liverpool play his Leverkusen team in the Europa League final.
It would serve as the last game for both managers and a symbolic changing of the guard. Though unlikely, it’s not too far-flung to suggest this is a real possibility.
Alonso has already been asked about whether he will rejoin Liverpool. On Friday, he replied: “That’s a direct question, but I don’t have a direct answer to that…
“I am trying to give my best to help my players be ready for the next thing, that’s my goal.
“What will come next, I don’t know.”