Barcelona are reportedly dreaming of appointing Xabi Alonso as Xavi’s successor although they will face competition from Liverpool.
SPORT (via Managing Barca) reports that Barca admire Alonso’s playing philosophy and are ready to move the Spaniard quickly. The former Real Madrid midfielder has been impressing while in charge of Bayer Leverkusen.
Alonso’s Die Werkself sit top of the Bundesliga, unbeaten in 21 games and beat reigning champions Bayern Munich 3-0 on Saturday (February 10). The Spanish coach’s stock has grown at BayArena.
Barcelona are aware that appointing Alonso would be a massive blow for rivals Madrid. He has been considered as a potential to eventually succeed Carlo Ancelotti at the Santiago Bernabeu.
However, Liverpool are seemingly at the head of the queue as they look to replace Jurgen Klopp. The German has announced he will be leaving Anfield at the end of the season.
Reports claim that the Merseysiders have made their first approach for their former midfield maestro. He has just over two years left on his contract with Leverkusen and has overseen 44 wins in 68 games while in charge.
Alonso does have a prior connection to Barcelona as his father Periko Alonso used to play for the Blaugrana. They will need to find a new head coach irrespective of whether that’s the Spaniard as Xavi is leaving at the end of the season.
Xavi’s side have faltered this season after winning the La Liga title last season for the first time since 2019. They sit third, 10 points behind leaders Madrid after 24 games.
Barcelona have reportedly held meetings about trying to appoint Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp as Xavi’s replacement
Barca appear to also be interested in Klopp despite the former Borussia Dortmund manager seemingly heading for a sabbatical. He blamed fatigue for his decision to end his nine-year reign at Liverpool.
El Nacional (via Football365) reports that secret meetings have been held over the idea of Klopp arriving at Camp Nou. It’s said that he’s the leading candidate over former Bayern boss Hansi Flick and Brighton & Hove Albion’s Roberto De Zerbi.
Klopp has been a massive success at Anfield, ending their 30-year wait for the Premier League title in 2020. He’s also guided the Reds to the UEFA Champions League, the FA Cup, and the League Cup during his tenure.
The German tactician is yet to manage in La Liga and Barcelona would be securing one of European football’s most highly-regarded coaches. But, they may need to convince him to backtrack over his sabbatical plans.