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Bayern Munich 'hold positive talks with Liverpool-linked Xabi Alonso'

Bayern 'hold positive talks with Liverpool-linked Xabi Alonso'
© Reuters
Bayern Munich reportedly open talks with Bayer Leverkusen head coach Xabi Alonso about replacing Thomas Tuchel this summer.

Bayern Munich have reportedly opened talks with Bayer Leverkusen head coach Xabi Alonso about replacing Thomas Tuchel this summer.

The Bavarians announced a fortnight ago that they will part ways with Tuchel at the end of the season following a disappointing 2023-24 campaign.

Tuchel was only appointed Bayern boss in March 2023 following the sacking of Julian Nagelsmann, and after leading the club to their 11th successive Bundesliga title last season, the German giants are now at risk of enduring a trophyless season for the first time in 12 years.

Indeed, Bayern have already been eliminated from the DFB-Pokal, losing to third-tier outfit Saarbrucken, while they currently trail Lazio 1-0 in their Champions League last-16 tie.

Meanwhile, Bayern have lost two and drawn one of their last four Bundesliga matches and now sit 10 points adrift of unbeaten leaders Leverkusen, who are bidding to win their first-ever title under the tutelage of in-demand boss Alonso.

Bayer Leverkusen head coach Xabi Alonso on February 10, 2024© Reuters

Leverkusen have put together an sensational 34-game unbeaten run across all competitions this season - an all-time German record - with Alonso's side still in contention to win the Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal and Europa League.

Since joining Leverkusen in October 2022, Alonso has developed into one of Europe's brightest young coaches, and the 42-year-old has understandably caught the eye of a number of top European clubs including Bayern and Liverpool.

Liverpool are believed to have identified Alonso as their primary target to replace outgoing manager Jurgen Klopp, who will be vacating his post at Anfield at the end of the season.

A recent report claims that the Reds have made their first official approach to lure Alonso away from Leverkusen ahead of next season.

However, according to Sky Sports in Germany, Bayern have identified Alonso as their preferred candidate to replace Tuchel and have stepped up their interest by opening discussions with the Spaniard.

Bayer Leverkusen coach Xabi Alonso before the match on January 13, 2024© Reuters

The report adds that the Bavarians have received 'a positive signal' from Alonso during talks and they are cautiously optimistic that he will decide to swap the BayArena for the Allianz Arena this summer.

"[Bayern] have the information that, if he changes, he will go to Bayern and not Liverpool," reporter Florian Plettenberg told Sky Sports's Transfer Update. "Alonso says that Liverpool and the Klopp legacy are a difficult number. You could lose more than win."

It is understood that Alonso would cost Bayern or any other interested clubs, including Liverpool, between £12.8m (€15m) and £21.3m (€25m) this summer, as a fixed exit clause in his contract of around £12.8m (€15m) does not become active until the summer of 2025.

Should any club fork out as much as £21.3m (€25m) for Alonso, it would represent a near world-record fee for a manager – Bayern broke the record in 2021 when they spent £21.7m to appoint Nagelsmann from RB Leipzig.

Alonso has connections with Liverpool and Bayern having previously represented both clubs during his playing days, spending five years between 2004 and 2009 with the former before plying his trade with the latter for three years between 2014 and 2017.

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Bayer Leverkusen coach Xabi Alonso before the match on January 29, 2023
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