Bayer Leverkusen manager Xabi Alonso has emerged as the favourite to succeed Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti ahead of his Arsenal counterpart Mikel Arteta, reports the Independent journalist Miguel Delaney.
The journalist claimed in his weekly Reading the Game newsletter today that the name of the 41-year-old is really standing out, to the point many around the La Liga club actually see it as inevitable.
However, Madrid are not the only club keen on Alonso, with Liverpool also keeping tabs on the Spaniard. The Reds see their former midfielder as someone who could eventually succeed manager Jurgen Klopp.
The German signed a contract extension with Liverpool that will keep him at the club until 2026 in April 2022. Klopp has been with the Anfield club since October 2015, and while he is not leaving anytime soon, Liverpool are preparing for life without him and are monitoring Alonso.
Madrid had already been discussing Arteta’s impact at Arsenal despite the fact this is his first job.
However, Los Blancos believe Alonso is more than capable of similar, and president Florentino Perez admires the fact that Alonso is a Madrid legend, having won the Champions League with them in 2014.
The La Liga club wants to rebuild the club around a young manager playing a modern and exciting style of football, and both the Bayer Leverkusen and Arsenal bosses fit the profile Madrid are looking for.
They are also Spaniards capable of speaking fluent English, which means communication will not be a problem. Alonso took charge of the Bundesliga club in October 2022 with the team second from bottom after eight league games.
They eventually finished sixth in the league table and also reached the semi-finals of the Europa League, getting eliminated by AS Roma via a single first-leg goal.
Bayer are currently top of the Bundesliga table after eight games and are unbeaten in the league so far. Arsenal are also unbeaten in the Premier League this term after nine games and are currently third after finishing in second place behind Manchester City last season.
Madrid will continue to keep tabs on both managers as Ancelotti prepares to leave at the end of the season, and while Arsenal are likely to hold on to Arteta, the same cannot be said of Bayer Leverkusen’s chances of retaining Alonso’s services.
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