Xabi Alonso says his focus is on Bayer Leverkusen amid the speculation that he could be Jurgen Klopp’s successor at Liverpool.
Klopp announced that he will leave Liverpool at the end of this season earlier today, while Alonso is revered at the Merseyside club having played 210 times for them between 2004 and 2009.
“Speculation is normal,” Alonso said. “What Jurgen has done in Liverpool I have a lot of respect for and great admiration for what he has done over the last few years.
“He’s achieved a lot. My focus is here at Bayer Leverkusen. I have a lot of motivation to do good work here.
“I’m very content and happy with the team and the club. So that is my focus.
“My focus is not on May, it is on tomorrow and Gladbach and on helping my players be ready for tomorrow. We’ll see what happens at Liverpool.”
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Alonso is in his first heading coaching role at Leverkusen, who he took charge of when they were in the relegation zone in October 2022 and guided them to a sixth-placed finish. The 42-year-old signed a new contract in May taking him until June 2026.
This season, Leverkusen are unbeaten in 18 Bundesliga games under Alonso and are top of the table, having won 15 matches and drawn three.
“It was a surprise, but I had huge respect for Jurgen before he came to Liverpool,” Alonso added. “At the moment, I’m really happy here and enjoying my work and I am feeling that each game is a challenge and we are on an intense but beautiful journey here at Leverkusen.
“I am trying to give my best to help my players be ready for the next game and that’s my goal. What happens next I don’t know.
“I’m not at the moment where I am thinking about my next step. I’m thinking about where I am right now and I think I am in a great place and I’m enjoying it. I think it’s the right place.
“I am thinking about what the pace of the team is going to be on Saturday. What’s going to happen in the future I don’t know and I don’t really care at the moment.”
Asked whether he could rule himself out of the Liverpool job in the summer, Alonso added: “That’s a direct question but I don’t have a direct answer/or anything else to add”
(Maja Hitij/Getty Images)
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