Liverpool: Three coaches likely to replace Jurgen Klopp after Xabi Alonso's snub

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Liverpool: Three coaches likely to replace Jurgen Klopp after Xabi Alonso's snub

Joel Omotto 11:00 - 30.03.2024

Liverpool’s plans to replace Jurgen Klopp have suffered a setback after leading candidate Xabi Alonso opted to stay at Bayer Leverkusen, so who are the other coaches they can turn to?

Liverpool will have to widen their search for a new manager after Bayer Leverkusen coach Xabi Alonso opted to stay at the Bundesliga club for at least one more season.

Alonso was the leading candidate to replace the departing Jurgen Klopp at Anfield with his brilliant work at BayArena also attracting the interest of Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich, who are also looking for a new coach to take over from Thomas Tuchel, at the end of the season.

It means the Premier League giants will have to look elsewhere for a new coach to fill the big boots of Klopp. So, who are the three leading candidates to replace the maverick German at Anfield?

Ruben Amorim

The Sporting Lisbon coach is now emerging as the leading contender for the Liverpool hot seat in the wake of Alonso’s snub.

Still just 39, the Portuguese is in the mold of the young progressive manager that Liverpool would have got in Alonso and his man-management as well as style of football tick most boxes for the Anfield job.

Amorin prefers a back three, plays attacking football that is intense on and off the ball, akin to Klopp’s ‘heavy metal’ and has a good track record of developing young players which would bode well for Liverpool who have unleashed plenty of youngsters this season.

The former Braga coach also knows how to win titles, having claimed the 2020-21 Primera Liga crown.

However, the sticking point would be getting him away from Lisbon. Amorin is believed to have a release clause of €20 million (Ksh2.9 billion) which Liverpool will have to pay to land him.

Roberto De Zerbi

The 44-year-old Italian is the other exciting coach that has been linked to Liverpool and there are plenty of reasons why.

De Zerbi is well known to the Premier League, having taken the league by storm since replacing Graham Potter at Brighton and Hove Albion in September 2022.

His style of football, where his side uses triangles all over the pitch while controlling the rhythm in possession and pressing man-to-man out of it, has earned him plenty of plaudits.

"One of the most influential managers in the last 20 years. There is no team playing the way they play. It is unique,” Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola said of De Zerbi’s style at Brighton.

It is such high praise that makes him one of the leading candidates to replace Klopp although like Amorin, Liverpool woukd have to pay his release clause of €11.7 million (Ksh1.7 billion) to get him.

Julian Nagesmann

Liverpool could yet opt to replace Klopp with another German and the 36-year-old ticks most boxes.

Nagelsmann is currently the German national team coach but his short-term deal will end after Euro 2024 and Liverpool would do well to put pen to paper before the German FA (DFB) decides to extend his deal.

Like Klopp, Nagelsmann is a student of gegenpressing while he is known for his versatility with formations, his most favourite being 3-5-2 and 4-2-2-2, where after losing possession, the team immediately attempts to win back the ball, rather than falling back to regroup.

The challenge is whether Nagelsmann wants to leave Germany with reports saying the DFB want to tie him to a long-term deal before the Euros while a return to Bayern cannot be ruled out.

Over to you, Liverpool.

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