International Soccer

4 manager targets for Liverpool after Xabi Alonso decision

Xabi Alonso won’t be the person who replaces Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool this summer after the former Reds midfielder opted to stay with Bayer Leverkusen for at least one more year.

As well as his prior connection to Liverpool, Alonso’s credentials were clear after taking Leverkusen from the Bundesliga relegation zone to the brink of their first ever title in less than two years.

Bayern Munich were also keen on the former Spaniard, but both they and Liverpool have now given up hope after Alonso confirmed he will not be leaving the club this summer.

With Alonso the leading candidate, Liverpool now need to refocus their search after previously drawing up a seven-strong shortlist. The Reds have got the hierarchy sorted by rehiring Michael Edwards in a senior role and recruiting Richard Hughes to be sporting director, so whoever the new manager is will know exactly what they are stepping into when they accept the job.

Here are four very plausible targets to become the next Liverpool manager.

Julian Nagelsmann

Julian Nagelsmann is available in July / Stuart Franklin/GettyImages

Nicknamed ‘Baby Mourinho’ when he first burst on to the managerial scene with Hoffenheim aged just 29, Julian Nagelsmann is probably more similar to Klopp than the Portuguese legend.

Now 36, he has previously taken RB Leipzig to the Champions League semi-finals and it came as a shock when Bayern Munich sacked him last March. Nagelsmann is currently Germany head coach ahead of Euro 2024, but his contract will expire shortly after the tournament.

Ange Postecoglou

Ange Postecolgou has been successful in Scotland / Alex Davidson/GettyImages

Ange Postecoglou was highly successful at Celtic, winning five of a possible six domestic trophies during two seasons in Scotland. But his first campaign at Tottenham Hotspur is proving that he can handle a higher quality league and he has been on Liverpool’s radar as a result.

The Greece-born Australian has put in the hard yards in his coaching career. He started out in charge of South Melbourne and has worked his way up, predominantly working in Australia until an opportunity with Japan’s Yokohama F. Marinos came up in 2018.

Roberto De Zerbi

Roberto De Zerbi is proven in the Premier League / Charlie Crowhurst/GettyImages

As with Postecoglou, Liverpool have the benefit of seeing Roberto De Zerbi’s proven record at Premier League level thanks to his exceptional body of work with Brighton & Hove Albion since 2022, showing that he can fit into an overarching club philosophy.

Under De Zerbi last season, Brighton enjoyed their highest ever league finish and qualified for European football for the first time. This season, they have beaten Ajax home and away and got to the knockouts stage of the Europa League.

Ruben Amorim

Ruben Amorim has impressed in Portuguese football / Nicolò Campo/GettyImages

Ruben Amorim will perhaps be the one who benefits most from Alonso’s loyalty to Leverkusen, pushing the Portuguese more into the frame as options slowly begin to thin out.

The 39-year-old has been given a resounding endrosement from Fulham’s Joao Palhinha this week, having played under him at Sporting CP and Braga, and is admired by the Liverpool hierarchy. The most significant mark against him is a lack of experience in a top five European league. But everybody has to start somewhere and if the structure is right, a talented coach will thrive.

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