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Xabi Alonso appears to have taken himself out of the running for one of the biggest jobs in European football.

Liverpool are almost certain the 42-year-old manager will remain at Bayer Leverkusen for at least one more season, according to The Times’ Paul Joyce.

With Alonso reportedly out of the mix, Brighton & Hove Albion’s Roberto De Zerbi and Sporting CP’s Ruben Amorim are the leading candidates to replace Jurgen Klopp at Anfield.

Bayern Munich were also interested in hiring Alonso as their next coach, but honorary president and powerbroker Uli Hoeness admitted Thursday it’d be close to “impossible,” saying the World Cup winner is “more inclined” to stay at Leverkusen because of their success.

Leverkusen are 10 points clear atop the Bundesliga with just eight games remaining in the season. The club has never won the German top flight before.

Real Madrid were also touted as a potential destination for the Spaniard.

After Klopp announced in January he was stepping down as Liverpool manager following eight-and-a-half years at the helm, Alonso became an early front-runner to replace the German boss. A former crowd favorite at Anfield, Alonso won the 2005 Champions League during a successful five-year stint with the Reds. He moved to Madrid before closing out his career at Bayern.

Klopp recently called Alonso the “standout” from the next generation of managers, adding that he was “like a coach already when he was playing.”

His reported unavailability immediately pushes De Zerbi and Amorim to the forefront. De Zerbi helped Brighton qualify for European football for the first time in the club’s 122-year history last season, while Amorim broke Benfica and Porto’s dominance of the Portuguese top flight by winning the title with Sporting in 2021. Amorim’s side beat Arsenal in the Europa League last season and is currently leading the Primeira Liga by one point.


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