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

Xabi Alonso has now explained decision to turn down Liverpool head coach job

Xabi Alonso has elaborated on his decision to turn down the offer to become Liverpool’s head coach in favour of staying in charge of Bayer Leverkusen.

Alonso was widely considered the front-runner to succeed Jurgen Klopp until, at the end of March, he pledged his ongoing commitment to Leverkusen.

Leverkusen went on to lift the Bundesliga title and the DFB-Pokal, in a campaign that saw them lose just once – that being to Atalanta in the Europa League final.

Liverpool subsequently hired Arne Slot as their new head coach, but there remain some supporters still hoping for Alonso to eventually take the job.

Speaking to CNN in a wide-ranging interview after his historic season at Leverkusen, Alonso explained his decision to reject overtures from Anfield and reaffirmed that “my bond with Liverpool is there.”

“All these decisions, they need to be thorough. You need to really think about them,” the Spaniard said.

“And it was more about what I had, not what I’m missing.

“For sure, my bond with Liverpool is there and it’s still there. So there’s not any kind of issue with that.”

Asked directly whether he had held talks with Fenway Sports Group, Alonso replied: “That’s kind of behind the curtains.”

Leverkusen head coach Xabi Alonso celebrates his team’s Bundesliga title success (David Inderlied/dpa via AP)

“Behind the curtains” is, of course, a polite way of suggesting talks did take place, though those appeared to have been more exploratory from Liverpool’s point of view.

Alonso is claimed to have plans to eventually manage two of his former clubs in Liverpool and Real Madrid, but he is determined to take the next step at his own pace.

That is certainly admirable, with the assertion that the decision to stay at Leverkusen was “more about what I had” one that many young managers could learn from.

Making the jump to Liverpool and failing at this stage in his career would be a major blow for Alonso – as could be said, for example, for Chelsea‘s new head coach Enzo Maresca.

Now, though, the emphasis will be on Slot’s new era at Anfield – and hopefully a legacy as impactful as the manager who came before him.