Xabi Alonso breaks silence on Jurgen Klopp leaving Liverpool and responds to Anfield return speculation

Xabi Alonso has impressed during his managerial stint with Bayer Leverkusen (Picture: Getty)

Xabi Alonso has paid a glowing tribute to Jurgen Klopp following his decision to step down as Liverpool manager.

After nine years of trophy-laden success, the 61-year-old will call time on his glittering reign at the end of the current campaign.

Liverpool may remain in contention to win four trophies this season, but talk has understandably already turned to who might replace him.

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Alonso, a firm favourite with the Anfield faithful already following his playing career on Merseyside, has made an eye-catching start to his managerial career, guiding Bayer Leverkusen to the Bundesliga summit.

The former Spain international, who is reported to have a special Liverpool clause in his current contract, addressed the German media ahead of his current side’s match against Borussia Monchengladbach tomorrow and the focus understandably fell on Klopp’s departure as well as Alonso’s future.

‘Speculations are normal, but my focus is Bayer Leverkusen,’ said Alonso.

Xabi Alonso and Bayer Leverkusen are currently top of the Bundesliga (Picture: Getty)

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‘I am very happy right now with my players in Leverkusen. Of course, Jurgen Klopp’s departure from Liverpool was a big surprise. I have great respect and admiration for what he did.’

Asked if he could rule out being Liverpool’s next manager, he added: ‘Honestly… I don’t have a direct answer.

‘I’m happy here right now, that’s for sure, and only thinking about Leverkusen.’

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Alonso is currently going head-to-head for the German title with Bayern Munich and their manager Thomas Tuchel, whose Chelsea side went toe-to-toe with Klopp during his time at Stamford Bridge.

‘I have to digest that first,’ said Tuchel when asked for his immediate reaction to the news that has stunned the world of football.

‘Kloppo is one of the very best coaches in the world, he has always managed to influence the clubs where he worked. It’s big news.’

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