Bayern Munich steal march on Liverpool in race to hire Xabi Alonso as next manager

Bayern Munich have stolen march on Liverpool to hire Xabi Alonso as next manager
Bayern Munich are keen to hire Xabi Alonso with Thomas Tuchel departing - Getty Images/Jörg Schüler

Bayern Munich are ahead of Liverpool in the race to appoint Xabi Alonso as their new head coach.

Sources have suggested that Bayern are now increasingly confident they have the advantage in hiring Alonso should he decide to leave Bayer Leverkusen this summer.

Leverkusen have refused to comment on claims that they have granted permission for Alonso to hold talks with Bayern. However, preliminary discussions are already understood to have taken place with the 42-year-old’s representatives.

While Bayern are in the lead it certainly does not mean Liverpool are no longer in the race although their search for Jurgen Klopp’s successor is complicated by the fact they are also in the process of appointing a new sporting director.

Bayern have, meanwhile, acted swiftly to steal a march on Liverpool and try and persuade Alonso to take over from Thomas Tuchel when he leaves the club at the end of this campaign. The Spaniard, a former Bayern as well as Liverpool midfielder, has been targeted as their number one choice and is the unanimous candidate from the club’s hierarchy.

The speculation over Alonso’s future has, understandably, caused irritation at Leverkusen who are 10 points clear of Bayern at the top of the Bundesliga and are unbeaten in what has been an extraordinary campaign for them. They have never won the German title in their 120-year history.

Intriguingly sources have suggested that it is still by no means certain that Alonso, who is contracted until June 2026, will leave this summer. His original plan was to stay and lead Leverkusen into the Champions League and he is determined to remain focussed on the club this season.

Alonso, who is understood to have a release clause that is active at the end of next season, already feels he owes a debt to Leverkusen who gave him his chance as a head coach.

There is also a third option which is to stay at Leverkusen for one more year and then potentially return to another of his former clubs, Real Madrid, should Carlo Ancelotti leave in 2025. Ancelotti signed a new deal in December taking him up to 2026 but the situation is always fluid at Madrid, where Alonso began his coaching career with the Under-14s when he retired.

Liverpool identify Nagelsmann and Amorim

The lure of Bayern or Liverpool might be too great but Alonso has carefully mapped out his career and has turned down jobs in the past and is in no rush.

Liverpool, of course, have been aware of Bayern’s interest and not least that it has been clear for some time that it was likely Tuchel would not carry on beyond this campaign.

As previously revealed by Telegraph Sport the Premier League club have identified Julian Nagelsmann and Ruben Amorim as alternatives should they be unable to persuade Alonso to join them.

Amorim, 39, has two more years on his deal with Sporting Lisbon but there is an expectation that he may well move at the end of this season and is keen on managing in the Premier League. The Portuguese is regarded as one of the most exciting young coaches in Europe.

Nagelsmann, still only 36, is out of contract with the German football federation after this summer’s European Championships, although he would not be available following Germany’s involvement in the tournament ending. He will want to return to club management at some stage.