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Liverpool 'could be forced to pay world-record £21m fee for Xabi Alonso'

Liverpool 'could be forced to pay world-record £21m fee for Xabi Alonso'
© Reuters
Liverpool may be forced to fork out a near world-record fee for a manager if they wish to lure Bayer Leverkusen's Xabi Alonso to Anfield this summer, according to a report.

Liverpool may be forced to fork out a near world-record fee for a manager if they wish to lure Xabi Alonso to Anfield this summer, according to a report.

The Red Devils are on the hunt for a new boss after Jurgen Klopp announced earlier this year that he will be vacating his post at the end of the season after eight-and-a-half memorable years on Merseyside.

Klopp has etched his name into Liverpool folklore having won seven major trophies to date, including the EFL Cup earlier this season, and he is hoping to end his time in charge of the club on a high as his side attempt to win the Premier League, FA Cup and Europa League.

A host of high-profile names have been linked with the soon-to-be vacancy at Liverpool, but Bayer Leverkusen head coach Alonso is believed to be the current frontrunner ahead of the 2024-25 campaign.

Alonso spent five years as a Liverpool player between 2004 and 2009, making 210 appearances in all competitions and winning four trophies including the 2005 Champions League.

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

The 42-year-old has since developed into one of the brightest young coaches in Europe during his time at Leverkusen, who are on course to win their first-ever Bundesliga title this season under the Spaniard's tutelage.

Leverkusen currently boast a remarkable 34-game unbeaten run across all tournaments this season – a German football record – and sit 10 points ahead of perennial Bundesliga winners Bayern Munich at the top of the table with only 10 games remaining.

Die Werkself have also advanced to the semi-finals of the DFB-Pokal, while they will soon prepare for their Europa League last-16 tie against Azerbaijani outfit Qarabag FK.

Alonso is under contract at Leverkusen until June 2026 and the club's sporting director Simon Rolfes stated last month that he is "sure" the Spaniard will remain in charge for next season.

Liverpool therefore have a battle on their hands to try to lure Alonso away from Leverkusen, and according to Sky Sports Deutschland, via The Mirror, the Reds could be required to pay a whopping £21m if they wish to get their man this summer.

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

The current world-record fee spent on a manager stands at £21.7m, which was spent by Bayern Munich to appoint Julian Nagelsmann from RB Leipzig in 2021.

Nagelsmann was then sacked in March last year and replaced by Thomas Tuchel, who after a disappointing 2023-24 campaign has confirmed that he will be leaving his post at the end of the season.

Bayern have subsequently been strongly linked with Liverpool target Alonso, although it is understood that the German giants have identified Feyenoord boss Arne Slot as a possible alternative.

Should Liverpool fail in their attempts to recruit Alonso, the likes of Sporting Lisbon's Ruben Amorim, Brighton & Hove Albion's Roberto De Zerbi and Germany head coach Nagelsmann could all be considered by the Reds this summer.

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