Sunday April 21, 2024

Alonso to remain Leverkusen coach next season

Published : 29 Mar 2024, 20:11

  By Nathalia Araújo, dpa
Leverkusen's coach Xabi Alonso. Photo: Christoph Reichwein/dpa.

Xabi Alonso will remain Bayer Leverkusen coach next season, the Bundesliga leaders said.

"This is the right place for me to be. I will stay at Leverkusen," Alonso said in a news conference on Friday.

"My job is not over here. Putting everything together, I've taken this important decision. I am convinced it's the right one," he said.

Alonso has a contract with the club until June 2026, but his excellent work caught the eyes of other top European teams, such as Bayern Munich, Liverpool and Real Madrid, and he has been repeatedly linked with a move to another team.

He played for all three clubs he has been linked with. Bayern and Liverpool need new coaches in summer after the departure of Thomas Tuchel and Jürgen Klopp, respectively.

Real's Carlo Ancelotti has renewed until 2026, when Alonso's contract in Leverkusen also runs out.

He said he informed the club bosses about his decision to stay at Leverkusen during a meeting last week.

"Once I made this decision, it was important to share it with everyone, because I want to give back the respect they have shown me. I'm grateful to these people that they believe: the fans, my staff, the players," the coach said.

Under Alonso, Leverkusen top the Bundesliga 10 points ahead of second-placed Bayern, are unbeaten in 38 games across all competitions this season, and made it to the German Cup semi-finals and Europa League quarter-finals.

The former midfielder joined Leverkusen in October 2022, when they were 17th in the Bundesliga table.

"This is my first full season as a manager. I still have a lot of things to prove and to experience. Right now, I have situation where I feel really stable and happy," Alonso said.

"We want to keep being ambitious and contending for important things. We want to improve, to keep the core of the team. Everyone wants to push in the same direction, and put the club at another level."