‘He’d be a wonderful choice’ – McManaman hopes Liverpool can lure ‘standout’ manager to Anfield

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Steve McManaman is hoping that Liverpool can lure one ‘standout’ managerial candidate to Anfield as Jurgen Klopp’s replacement.

Almost as soon as the German announced in late January that he’d be leaving at the end of the season, Xabi Alonso was installed as the firm favourite to become his successor.

However, the Reds’ pursuit of the 42-year-old has been complicated by simultaneous interest from Bayern Munich, whose 11-year stranglehold on the Bundesliga title looks set to be ended by the Spaniard’s Bayer Leverkusen side.

In an interview with the Liverpool Echo, McManaman made the case for the former LFC midfielder, saying: “Xabi is doing great, isn’t he? I know Xabi very well. I’m a bit biased towards him. He’s 10 points clear. They’ve never won the league at Leverkusen.

“I don’t know whether it will be a bit too soon for him, I don’t know whether he fancies the Liverpool job as of yet, 18 months into his career, I don’t know. I certainly wouldn’t ask him that, I’d leave it to him. But he’d be a wonderful choice, wouldn’t he? Of course he would be.

“The standing he’s got at Liverpool, he knows Liverpool the city, he worked here, he lived here more importantly. He’s doing an incredible job at the minute, undefeated. What more can you say?

“They’ll do their due diligence. People have spoken about [Julian] Nagelsmann, people have spoken about Ruben Amorim at Sporting, but of course Xabi is the standout character because he knows Liverpool so well. Knowing the city really, really helps you win the people over.”

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A combination of Alonso’s previous as a sublime Champions League-winning midfielder at Anfield, and the extraordinary work he’s done as Leverkusen boss, have naturally made him many Liverpool fans’ preferred option to take over from Klopp.

Unfortunately, Bayern’s concurrent search for a new manager to replace Thomas Tuchel has given the 42-year-old a decision to make, and nor is it unthinkable that he may wish to maintain the status quo and lead his current club to even greater things.

That’s why FSG won’t put all their eggs in the Alonso basket, and the two alternatives namechecked by McManaman are reportedly both in line to be interviewed by LFC chiefs in the near future (Football Insider).

It’s good to know that Liverpool appear to have a Plan B at the ready if their pursuit of the Leverkusen boss proves unsuccessful, but they must do everything in their power to try and entice the Spaniard.

Any manager will find it challenging to follow immediately in Klopp’s footsteps, but the 42-year-old would be given ample time and patience by the fan base to weave his magic in the dugout at Anfield, having done so on the pitch as a matter of routine in the 2000s.

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