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Real Madrid Transfer News: Los Blancos legend Raul lined up as Xabi Alonso replacement at Bayer Leverkusen

Tom Weber

  • Updated: 5 Mar 2024 19:30 GMT
  • 4 min read
Xabi Alonso, Bayer Leverkusen, 2023/24

Bayer Leverkusen are planning for a future without Xabi Alonso amid links to Bayern Munich and Liverpool.

The 42-year-old has quickly emerged as Europe’s most in-demand coach after turning Bayer Leverkusen from relegation battlers into soon-to-be champions of Germany. The summer will see a ridiculous managerial merry-go-round and Alonso will be right at the heart of it.

With Jurgen Klopp departing Liverpool and Thomas Tuchel getting sacked by Bayern, not one but two of the Basque’s former clubs are looking for a new coach and both view their ex-midfielder as the ideal candidate. As things stand, Alonso is reportedly leaning towards Bayern over Liverpool.

While there is no guarantee that the former Real Madrid man will actually depart the Werkself in the summer, the Bundesliga side are nevertheless preparing themselves for that eventuality. According to BILD, Bayer 04 are currently keeping tabs on as many as 20 coaches who could replace Alonso.

© IMAGO – Raul

Raul to Bayer?

There are some very interesting names on the club’s shortlist, if the report is to be believed. In Germany, Sebastian Hoeneß and Fabian Hürzeler are said to be appreciated, with the former currently overseeing Stuttgart’s best-ever Bundesliga season – pretty incredible considering they won the title in 2006/07 – and the latter on course to lead St. Pauli back to the top flight.

Perhaps even more intriguing is the name of Raul. A former teammate of Alonso at Real Madrid and for the Spanish national team, the Los Blancos legend is currently in charge of the club’s Castilla side and was previously touted as a potential successor to Carlo Ancelotti, prior to the Italian’s surprising contract extension.

The former striker, who also lined up for the New York Cosmos in the now-defunct NASL, is no stranger to German football, having previously played for Schalke alongside the likes of Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, Ivan Rakitic and Manuel Neuer before their tragic fall from grace, now battling against relegation from the second division.

Interestingly, the report mentions that Leverkusen sporting director Simon Rolfes ceased talks over potential replacements weeks ago. Alonso is firmly in his plans for next season and he does not want to give off the impression that the Spaniard could leave.

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