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Liverpool Transfer News: Richard Hughes appointment as sporting director gives Reds edge in Xabi Alonso chase

Tom Weber

  • Updated: 12 Mar 2024 12:47 GMT
  • 3 min read
Xabi Alonso, Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool

The impending appointment of Richard Hughes gives Liverpool the edge in the battle for Xabi Alonso.

The Bournemouth sporting director has already announced that he will depart the Cherries at the end of the season. Hughes is expected to follow Michael Edwards, Liverpool’s ex-transfer guru, to Anfield to oversee the Reds’ post-Jurgen Klopp rebuild.

Liverpool have managed to convince Edwards to return to the club with a final take-it-or-leave-it offer, though he will have more power than he did previously. Edwards will oversee the club’s entire sporting operations, while Hughes is expected to become Liverpool’s new sporting director after Jorg Schmadtke departed last month.

With Hughes set to join, Liverpool fans are already dreaming of a world where Xabi Alonso succeeds Klopp in the dugout. The Basque is Liverpool’s top target for the job, but he is also being chased by Bayern Munich, with German media claiming that he is leaning more towards the latter as it will be impossible to adequately fill Klopp’s shoes. Staying at Bayer Leverkusen is also still a very realistic possibility.

Xabi Alonso
© IMAGO – Xabi Alonso

The Hughes factor

However, the appointment of Hughes at Liverpool could still lead to a twist in the tale. Last summer, Hughes brought Andoni Iraola to Bournemouth to become the Cherries’ new head coach. Alonso’s compatriot is represented by the same agency, IDUB GLOBAL, and agent, Inaki Ibanez, as the sought-after Leverkusen boss.

It is believed that Hughes’ good relationship with Ibanez could be a key factor in determining Alonso’s future, though ultimately it will be up to the 42-year-old to decide on his next step. Intriguingly, IDUB also represent Real Sociedad star Martin Zubimendi.

A long-time Arsenal target, FootballTransfers exclusively revealed last month that Liverpool had also begun taking a keen interest in acquiring the star midfielder. Perhaps there will soon be a sizeable Basque contingent at Anfield.

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