Bayer Leverkusen coach Xabi Alonso

Klopp calls Liverpool target Xabi Alonso a ‘standout’ possibility

Jürgen Klopp called Bayer Leverkusen coach Xabi Alonso the “standout” of the next generation of managers.

Alonso, who led Leverkusen from second to first in the Bundesliga in 16 months, is a favorite to replace Liverpool’s manager this summer. Alonso’s club reached the Europa League semi-finals in his first season and defeated Bayern Munich 3-0 last weekend.

Klopp again distanced Liverpool from a Kylian Mbappé move, saying his evaluation of Alonso was unrelated to the Anfield vacancy. He has declared he is not looking for a successor, but Fenway Sports Group will not ignore Klopp’s glowing comments of the former player.

“Xabi is doing an incredible job,” Klopp remarked. That would be independent without rumors. Eight weeks ago, I would have said, ‘Oh my God.’ about Xabi Alonso. The dinosaurs—Angelotti, Mourinho, Guardiola, maybe me—will not do it for 20 years. Maybe Mourinho will. The next generation is here, and Xabi stands out.

“Former world-class player, from a coaching family, he was virtually a coach while playing. He plays great football, builds great teams, and makes great transfers. Playing in the Bundesliga for a long time is impressive. Points and playstyle.

Leverkusen outplayed Bayern in the first game, which is rare. We overcame Bayern at Dortmund by counterattacking and taking the momentum. Especially initially. Yet Leverkusen excelled. I think that was the biggest surprise given his short time there and the youthful team.

He signed great players for this squad, just what they needed. It’s a special job.

Leverkusen has a good cup chance. Leverkusen is a Europa League favorite, so this may be their season. Very crazy.”

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Klopp called Alonso’s rapid influence at Leverkusen his best managerial trait.

“How quick his team is that well tuned,” he said. “For the time it took, he put his mark on it. He hasn’t been in the business long enough to know if that’s his style or this team’s, but the coaching is great. Yes, clearly.”

Despite the money and possibility of Mbappé joining Real Madrid, his summer departure from Paris Saint-Germain has reignited interest in a Liverpool deal. Klopp thinks the striker is too expensive for most clubs, including Liverpool.

“I have no clue,” he claimed of Real connections. He said, “Obviously I am not involved in that but I can tell you that I would be surprised” if other clubs entered the race. Most of the big clubs I know would struggle with wages and signing fees.

Alisson’s hamstring injury in training will keep him out of Saturday’s match against Brentford.

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