Bayer Leverkusen chief Simon Rolfes says he is “sure” that Xabi Alonso will still be their manager next season, despite the 42-year-old being heavily linked with a return to Liverpool.
Jurgen Klopp has announces that he will be stepping down as Reds boss at the end of the season and Alonso, who spent five years at Anfield as a player, is among the favourites to replace him.
He has impressed in his young managerial career so far, having taken over at Leverkusen in October 2022 when they were second bottom. They ultimately ended up finishing sixth last season, before mounting a remarkable Bundesliga title bid this campaign.
Leverkusen are top of the table and currently unbeaten, having opened up a five point gap over Bayern Munich after beating them 3-0 on Saturday. And when asked after the game if Alonso would still be Levekursen’s manager next season, sporting director Rolfes told German broadcaster SPORT1 : “Yes, I’m sure.
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“One [reason] is the contract. The other thing is how comfortable he feels, the family, himself and that he knows what he has in the club. He also has a very good team, we will have a very good perspective next year and there’s no change in the team.
“We will definitely have a top team available next year. These are all points that – in addition to contracts – coaches like Xabi, but also players who [attract] interest, often stay with us.”
Alonso has also played down speculation about him potentially replacing Klopp, insisting he remains fully focused on Leverkusen’s title bid. “Speculation is normal, my focus is here on Bayer Leverkusen,” he said last month.
Sebastian Widmann/Getty Images)
“I am very happy at Leverkusen with my players at the moment. [It was a] big surprise in Liverpool, of course — for what Jurgen did in Liverpool I have great respect and admiration. I am really happy here.
“I am enjoying my work here. I am feeling each day and each game is a challenge. I am on a beautiful journey in Leverkusen. The next one, I don’t know. I am thinking about where I am right now.
“I am in a great place and I am enjoying. Saturday is what really matters. I don’t really care what is going to happen in the future right now.”
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