Xabi Alonso
Xabi Alonso is in demand right now due to overseeing Bayer Leverkusen's brilliant season so far. Thilo Schmuelgen/Reuters

Bayer Leverkusen's Sporting Director, Simon Rolfes, believes that the club can hold onto manager Xabi Alonso beyond this season amidst rumoured interest from Liverpool.

Liverpool will have a new manager in the dugout at Anfield next season as the current boss, Jurgen Klopp, recently announced that he will be stepping down from his position at the end of the 2023/2024 season.

Liverpool were informed of Klopp's decision last November, suggesting that the club has already been drawing up possible candidates to replace the 56-year-old German.

Alonso is viewed as one of the favourites to succeed Klopp due to currently being regarded as one of Europe's best up-and-coming managers from his success with Bayer Leverkusen. The Spaniard's side currently sit top of the Bundesliga and are unbeaten after 17 league games.

Praise for Alonso's coaching ability grew over the weekend as his side thrashed Bayern Munich 3-0 in a top-of-the-table clash. The result leaves Bayer Leverkusen five points ahead of Bayern Munich and puts them in a great position to end the Bavarian club's 11-year streak of winning the Bundesliga.

Also, Bayer Leverkusen have been outstanding in Europe this season, as they topped Group H in the UEFA Europa League by winning all six games and scoring 19 goals. The club is also in the semi-finals of the DFB-Pokal and will face off against Dusseldorf in April.

Alonso has strong links to Liverpool having played for them between 2004-2009 and is remembered by fans fondly as he was part of the club's 2005 UEFA Champions League winning side.

Due to Liverpool being one of the biggest clubs in the world and having won silverware in the last few years, the likelihood is they would be in a strong position to snatch Alonso away from Germany.

However, Rolfes is convinced that Alonso will stay in charge at Bayer Leverkusen, telling German broadcaster, Sport1: "I'm sure of that. The first thing is the structure of the contract. The other is how good he feels – his family, himself – and that he knows what he has at the club."

Alonso is currently contracted to the German club until 2026 after he signed a three-year extension last August. The renewal came after reported interest from Tottenham Hotspur as the Premier League club were then in the process of searching for a permanent manager.

Rolfes also believes Alonso will stay because of the talent he currently has at his disposal, saying: "He has a very good team, we have very good prospects next year, and there won't be any upheaval in the team. Next year, we're certain to have a top team."

Current young stars at Bayer Leverkusen include Florian Wirtz, Jeremie Frimpong, Victor Boniface, Edmond Tapsoba and Odilon Kossounou. Experienced players such as Granit Xhaka, Alex Grimaldo, Lukas Hradecky and Jonas Hoffman have also been a key part of Bayer Leverkusen's success this season.

However, many of Bayer Leverkusen's top stars are already attracting interest from Europe's biggest clubs so despite Rolfes' optimism over the squad's outlook going forward, the club may be put into a position where some players have to get sold.

The future of Bayer Leverkusen's key players may be a deciding factor for Alonso in whether he wishes to move on before next season or not.

Former Liverpool defender, Jamie Carragher, believes Alonso is the right man to replace Klopp.

Appearing on Sky Sports' Monday Night Football coverage, he stated: "There is no doubt that right now he's looking like the brightest young thing as a manager. The timing for Alonso to step in is pretty perfect given the job he's doing."

A potential obstacle in Liverpool moving for Alonso is the presence of one of the 42-year-old's other former clubs, Bayern Munich, whom he represented as a player between 2014-2017.

Due to Bayern Munich having struggled in moments this season, current manager Thomas Tuchel has come under pressure from the club's supporters and the German media. This has led to rumours of Alonso potentially being eyed as the next Bayern Munich manager.

For now, Alonso's focus will be on helping Bayer Leverkusen maintain its impressive form and taking the club to its first-ever Bundesliga title.