Why Xabi Alonso is RIGHT to snub Liverpool & Bayern

Tom Weber
Tom Weber
  • 29 Mar 2024 10:26 GMT
  • 6 min read
Xabi Alonso, Bayer Leverkusen

Xabi Alonso is expected to remain with Bayer Leverkusen this summer - and this is the correct decision.

The 42-year-old is Europe's most in-demand coach, but he is set to snub interest from Liverpool and Bayern Munich in favour of staying at Bayer 04 for at least one more season, according to The Times and since confirmed by The Athletic and Fabrizio Romano.

Article continues under the video

Prior to this news, Bayern's honorary president Uli Hoeneß had already all but announced Alonso's decision by claiming that it would be 'probably impossible' to lure him away from Leverkusen this summer. This came just a little over a week after Hoeneß had publically confirmed Bayern's intentions of appointing the Basque.

READ MORE: Romano’s Liverpool transfer update as Ajax target Lijnders

It may seem surprising to some that Alonso would reject Liverpool and Bayern, two of the most illustrious sides in football and two former clubs of his, but it just makes sense.

Jurgen Klopp
© IMAGO - Jurgen Klopp

The grass isn't always greener

First of all, walking into the Liverpool job after the departure of a legendary manager such as Jurgen Klopp was always going to be a hard sell. How do you even fill the massive shoes of the German? You don't. So, you're essentially setting yourself up for failure by taking charge of the Reds this summer.

The situation at Bayern is different. While any capable coach would be able to better Thomas Tuchel's 'exploits', the question must be asked: what can Bayern offer Alonso that Leverkusen can't? Better pay? Maybe. A larger transfer budget? Perhaps. Leverkusen can't sign €100 million players such as Harry Kane, but the Werkself aren't minnows of the German game.

READ MORE: Liverpool on alert as Luis Diaz has 'not lost hope’ of Madrid transfer

Though they are about to win only their first-ever Bundesliga title, Leverkusen, backed by pharmaceutical giants Bayer, are one of the economically strongest teams in the Bundesliga - and controversially so; they are one of the original RB Leipzigs along with Wolfsburg. Funds from Bayer offset Leverkusen's losses, allowing them to frequently spend big.

While many Bundesliga sides are generally in the green when it comes to spending, Leverkusen have recorded a loss north of €40m on transfers over the past decade. This is, of course, nothing compared to the €350m+ Bayern have lost over the same period, but it goes to show that Leverkusen have the capabilities to spend big.

The Bundesliga's biggest spenders 2013/14-2023/24

TeamExpenditureIncomeNet spend
Bayern Munich€1bn€646m-€354m
Borussia Dortmund€910m€1.03bn+€120m
RB Leipzig€806m€655m-€151m
VfL Wolfsburg€605m€409m-€196m
Bayer Leverkusen€568m€524m-€44m

They showed that last summer, too, when they fully backed Alonso in the transfer market, spending €80m on new signings. They will do so again in the upcoming window, according to Fabrizio Romano, who has reported that the Spaniard will receive major signings to help his side compete in the Champions League next term.

The environment at Leverkusen is also much more settled and calm than at "FC Hollywood" in Munich. The pressure on Alonso is minuscule compared to the scrutiny he would face in Bavaria and the treatment of Julian Nagelsmann showed that even generational coaching talents don't last long if they fall foul of Bayern bosses.

Alonso is building greatness

Alonso is currently in the process of building greatness at Leverkusen. The Werkself still have a chance of winning a treble and they are yet to taste defeat this season. Germany legend Lothar Matthäus recently compared them to Pep Guardiola's Barcelona and for good reason.

Alonso and sporting director Simon Rolfes have created something special and it would be foolish for the coach to abandon this project after just one full season in charge. One must also remember that this is Alonso's first senior job in management, having been plucked from Real Sociedad's reserves halfway through the 2022/23 season.

READ MORE: Bayern chief makes HUGE Musiala announcement amid Chelsea links

Leverkusen have shown faith in Alonso and he has repaid them handsomely. But the coach also owes a debt to Leverkusen. It's a relationship that goes both ways and Alonso is right to stay on board for at least one more year.

With another season of experience under his belt, Alonso can take the next step in 2025 when he will have a release clause in his contract. Perhaps then another of his former clubs, Real Madrid, will also be looking for a new coach.

Never miss the next big transfer!

Get the latest transfer insights and analyses directly in your mailbox.