I've got major Xabi Alonso worry no one is talking about after Liverpool call and latest development

Xabi Alonso, the head coach of Bayer Leverkusen, greets fans after winning the German Cup.
-Credit: (Image: Photo by Hesham Elsherif/Anadolu via Getty Images)

The Xabi Alonso dream was over a long time before it emerged, publicly at least, that Arne Slot was the man who Liverpool had selected as its next head coach. But plenty of Reds fans had allowed themselves to go all in on the idea of a triumphant return to Anfield for the Spaniard, including yours truly.

I'm fully on board with Slot now, of course, and the reasoning behind the Dutchman being selected is clear. But the Alonso appeal was obvious: it wasn’t just his incredible record at Bayer Leverkusen that had swayed me, although that clearly played a massive part. It was the familiarity that he would have brought amid Liverpool’s biggest change in almost a decade.

Jürgen Klopp’s departure will be hard to take, and seeing Alonso stepping into the breach would have softened the blow somewhat. The former midfielder was one of my favorite players growing up as a teenager during the mid to late 2000s — in fact, I still hold a slight grudge against Rafa Benítez for trying to replace him with Gareth Barry.

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A return as head coach to lead Liverpool into a golden new era just made sense. Unfortunately, I and every other fan who had their heart set on that now has to accept that if the Reds are to succeed, it might mean Alonso never gets his chance at Anfield.

As much as I loved watching Alonso the midfield maestro, I care a lot more about Liverpool continuing its success post-Klopp. If that means Arne Slot for the next decade, then I can happily live with not seeing Alonso the manager up close.

What does fill me with dread though is the idea of the Spaniard taking over at one of Liverpool’s rivals. Bayern Munich and Real Madrid are obvious links, but there is a prospect much worse than those that suddenly becomes a lot more viable.

No one seems to be talking about Alonso taking over from Pep Guardiola at Manchester City, but I can’t help but see that as a distinct possibility now. We know he’ll stay at Leverkusen for at least another year, and that could line him up perfectly for the job at the Etihad.

Guardiola’s current contract at City runs until the end of next season. He wouldn't commit when asked if he would stay beyond that point after winning the Premier League again and now, the Daily Mail has suggested the decision has been made for him to leave.

If so, from City’s perspective, who better to take over than one of Guardiola’s protégés? Mikel Arteta is already building his own fortress at Arsenal, so Alonso could be the next port of call. The timings, it seems, could definitely add up.

If the 42-year-old continues his success at Leverkusen next season having won the double and gone unbeaten aside from the Europa League final in this one, he will surely have more clubs falling over themselves to secure his services. He’s already shown that the draw of his returning to one of his former clubs isn’t a deciding factor, so joining a rival can’t be ruled out.

Of course, it’s all conjecture at this moment in time. It's possible that Guardiola’s plans could change, and Alonso has already sprung something of a surprise by turning down Liverpool and Bayern’s advances. There’s always those 115 elephants lurking in the room as well for City.

But if Alonso continues on his current trajectory, then City will no doubt keep a close eye on him. I’m not sure how my heart would take seeing him in the opposition dugout at Anfield every season, with that outcome considerably worse than seeing him at Real Madrid.

An original version of this story was first published on March 31. It has since been updated.