Football News

Liverpool and Real Madrid are working to beat Bayern to Xabi Alonso hiring – Uli Hoeness

By CJ Smith

Published: 14:30, 22 March 2024

Bayern Munich honorary president Uli Hoeneß has stated his club are ‘working on’ a deal to sign Xabi Alonso as their next manager, but face competition from Liverpool and Real Madrid.

Alonso is arguably the most in-demand manager in Europe right now, leading Leverkusen to a German-record 38 games unbeaten across all competitions in a run dating back to May 2023.

Although Die Werkself haven’t lifted a trophy yet under the Spaniard, they are 10 points clear of Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga table and are aiming to end Die Roten’s 11-year reign of terror over Die Meisterschale, while they have reached the DFB-Pokal semi-finals and last eight of the Europa League.

Alonso, of course, starred for Bayern Munich, Real Madrid and Liverpool during his playing days as an elegant midfielder, lifting four league titles, four major domestic cups and two Champions League titles for the clubs combined, among a host of other honours.

His exploits as a coach so far and his previous relationships with the aforementioned clubs have led Alonso to be linked with all three jobs — among the biggest in club football — and Hoeneß, who has been a part of Bayern’s management team for over 40 years following his own distinguished career as a player, has spilt the beans on the battle to hire the 42-year-old.

“Clubs like Liverpool, Real Madrid, Leverkusen and FC Bayern are working on it,” Hoeness told Ran Sport. “He’s proven that he can be a coach for the big time. There are hardly any coaches who come into question who are currently free, who don’t have a job or who are on sabbatical.

“It’s not so easy to tell them that FC Bayern is the measure of all things.”

Each club has their own unique situation when it comes to hiring a new manager, with Jurgen Klopp announcing he will leave Liverpool at the end of the season, while the opposite has happened at Bayern, where the club has already confirmed they will part ways with Thomas Tuchel in the Summer. Carlo Ancelotti, meanwhile, extended his contract at Real Madrid until the end of the 2025/26 season, meaning their move for Alonso could be shelved for a couple of years.

Dirk Kuyt backs Xabi Alonso for Liverpool job

Having spent three seasons together at Anfield, Dirk Kuyt knows better than most how well cut out Alonso is to be an elite coach. The former Netherlands international — himself a manager now with Dutch second-tier side Beerschot — has always been convinced his former teammate was destined for the dugout, wishing Alonso luck ‘if’ he gets the Liverpool job.

“Well, you know, if you look at former team-mates and players, sometimes you doubt they can become a coach and then you see them doing really well in a management job. But, for Xabi, I think in my mind definitely he was like a future coach,” Kuyt told the Liverpool Echo.

“I followed him and the steps he made in his career. I think he did very steady to manage a couple of U23s teams but then he had his first opportunity at Bayer Leverkusen and I think it was the right step.

“It is down to him that he has brought them to the next level because suddenly he is challenging for the league title in Germany and that is something that is very special because for the last few years, Bayern Munich was always up there and the number two was Borussia Dortmund.

“Now Xabi is there and I think people almost cannot believe that someone other than Bayern Munich are going to win the league. That shows the quality of a manager like Xabi Alonso.

“People can say maybe it has come too quick but sometimes good things come very quickly and for me, definitely, he was always a guy during our playing time that was always thinking about the game; thinking tactically; talking always tactically outside of the pitch.

“So you could see from a distance a manager one day and for me it would be amazing if one of my former team-mates like Xabi or maybe Steven (Gerrard) in the future will become a manager of Liverpool. That would be amazing.”

Kuyt added: “I am really looking forward to who will get the job but if Xabi gets it I wish him all the best and I am really proud of my former team-mate for what he is doing there as a manager.”