Man City made sensational Xabi Alonso approach – but Liverpool icon said no

EXCLUSIVE: Manchester City wanted Liverpool managerial target Xabi Alonso as Pep Guardiola's assistant following Mikel Arteta's defection to Arsenal

Posted Sunday, March 10, 2024 by

Man City made sensational Xabi Alonso approach – but Liverpool icon said no

Xabi Alonso, wanted by Liverpool as their next manager, could have been facing them from the Manchester City dugout on Sunday.

When Mikel Arteta quit as Pep Guardiola’s Etihad assistant four years ago to take the Arsenal job, the City boss wanted Alonso as his successor. Talks were held between the Spanish pair about the possibility of reuniting following Alonso’s successful playing spell under Guardiola at Bayern Munich.

But while seriously tempted by the offer to replace Arteta, the ex-Liverpool midfielder eventually rejected the approach. At the time Alonso had just started his first senior coaching job – at the helm of Real Sociedad B – and decided he owed it to the La Liga club to stay loyal.

Fair to say, the former Real Madrid playmaker, 42, has had no reason to regret that sliding-doors moment amid his remarkably rapid rise up the managerial ladder. Within two years he was appointed Bayer Leverkusen coach and is now on course to lead the unfancied German outfit to a shock Bundesliga title.

That, in turn, has catapulted Alonso into the elite bracket of world-class coaches, with some of Europe’s biggest clubs looking to secure his services. Liverpool view him as the ideal candidate to assume the Anfield reins when Jurgen Klopp steps down at the end of the season.

But while they thought they were in pole position to make the appointment, those ambitions are now under threat from Bayern Munich. The summer exit of current Munich boss Thomas Tuchel, announced by the club last month, is paving the way for them to approach Alonso.

Although he has remained tight-lipped on his future beyond the campaign, it is thought staying in Germany for the next stage of his career is Alonso’s favoured option. That news comes as a huge blow to Liverpool, who host Guardiola’s Treble holders on Sunday, with both aiming to take a firm grip at the summit.

Attention: Third parties may advertise their products and/or services on our website.7M does not warrant the accuracy, adequacy or completeness of their contents.
Your dealings with such third parties are solely between you and such third parties and we shall not be liable in any way for any loss or damage of any sort incurred by you.