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Bayer Leverkusen chief admits Xabi Alonso could end up managing former club

Leverkusen chief admits Alonso could end up managing former club
© Reuters
Bayer Leverkusen CEO Fernando Carro admits that Xabi Alonso could manage his former club Real Madrid in the future.

Bayer Leverkusen CEO Fernando Carro has admitted that Xabi Alonso could manage Real Madrid in the future.

Alonso has built a reputation as one of Europe's brightest young managers since becoming Leverkusen in November 2022.

The Spaniard took Leverkusen from the relegation zone to a sixth-placed finish, while also guiding the team to the Europa League semi-finals.

After laying the foundations last term, Alonso has gone on to oversee a historic 2023-24 campaign, leading the club to their first Bundesliga title with five games to spare.

Alonso could still pick up more silverware this season, with Leverkusen in the DFB-Pokal final and the Europa League quarter-finals.

Bayer Leverkusen coach Xabi Alonso reacts on March 17, 2024© Reuters

Real Madrid return is "possible"

The 42-year-old was mooted as a potential candidate to succeed his former boss Carlo Ancelotti at Real Madrid, before the Italian signed a new contract in December to extend his stay in 2026.

While Ancelotti remains in the Real Madrid hot seat, Carro has hinted that Alonso could return to the Santiago Bernabeu in the future.

Carro told Spanish outlet AS: "It is possible that at some point in his career as a coach, he ends up managing Real Madrid, yes."

Alonso spent five years with Real Madrid as a player, making a total of 236 appearances and winning five trophies, including the 2013-14 Champions League.

He has also been linked with managerial roles at two of his other former clubs, with Liverpool and Bayern Munich looking to replace Jurgen Klopp and Thomas Tuchel respectively.

Bayer Leverkusen coach Xabi Alonso reacts on February 17, 2024© Reuters

Several clubs tracking Alonso

However, Alonso has ultimately decided against a summer departure, having confirmed his desire to stay for at least one more season.

Carro has revealed that several clubs showed an interest in Alonso, and he did not rule out the prospect of him managing one of his former clubs in the future.

"There are many interested clubs," Carro said. "It is true, which does not mean that in the future he cannot coach some of those that have been named, especially his former teams as a player. But he feels at ease here; if not, he wouldn't continue.

"We will maintain our ambition next year and play in the Champions League. Obviously, we are very happy with it. It's a good situation for all parties and I think we both win. This is a project that we started with him and it is very important that it continues.

"But Xabi also knows what he has at Leverkusen as a club, not only do we know what we have with him as a coach. It is good for both of us to continue working together."

Alonso's side will carry a 2-0 lead into Thursday's Europa League quarter-final second leg against West Ham United at the London Stadium.

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