Bayern Munich: Xabi Alonso set to stay at Bayer Leverkusen

Bayern Munich are set to miss out on their top coaching target as Xabi Alonso decides to stay at Bayer Leverkusen.

Bayern Munich are set to miss out on their top coaching target as Xabi Alonso decides to stay at Bayer Leverkusen.
Bayern Munich are set to miss out on their top coaching target as Xabi Alonso decides to stay at Bayer Leverkusen. / Christof Koepsel/GettyImages
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The search for a new coach at Bayern Munich has taken a turn for the worse this week. The Bavarian club cannot sign their first-choice target, Bayer Leverkusen’s Xabi Alonso, to replace Thomas Tuchel at the end of the season.

While talking to the media on Friday, Xabi Alonso announced his decision to stay at Bayer Leverkusen for next season. Uli Hoeness had admitted on Thursday that signing Alonso this summer will be difficult. Alonso was subject to strong interest from Liverpool and Bayern.

Alonso has done a fantastic job at Bayer Leverkusen in the last 18 months. With eight games left in the Bundesliga, Bayer Leverkusen are ten points clear at the top of the points table under Alonso. Bayer Leverkusen are also in the knockout stages of the DFB Pokal and Europa League. The Spaniard believes staying at Leverkusen is the right decision at this stage of his career.

Bayern were impressed by Alonso’s work at Bayer Leverkusen. Along with doing well at Leverkusen, Alonso also had a connection with Bayern since he spent the last three seasons of his playing career in Munich. The Spaniard was a good fit for Bayern since he was aware of the ethos and philosophy of the club.

The Bavarian club will have to look at other options after Alonso decided to stay in Leverkusen. Brighton’s Robert De Zerbi has been reported as the second-strongest candidate to become Bayern’s head coach. Max Eberl reportedly held talks with the Italian coach during the international break.

De Zerbi has a fixed release clause in his contract at Brighton. Bayern will face competition from Liverpool since the Italian coach also features on their list of potential successors of Jurgen Klopp. Brighton have played quality football under De Zerbi in the last two seasons. Moreover, the former Shakhtar Donetsk head coach is adept at getting the best out of young players.

The only concern regarding De Zerbi is the lack of experience with the top clubs in Europe. He doesn’t speak German but can communicate in English. It will be intriguing to see the style of football implemented at Bayern if they decide to appoint De Zerbi as the new head coach.

Aston Villa’s Unai Emery also reportedly features on Bayern’s shortlist. The Spaniard is doing a sensational job at Villa Park in the last 18 months. Emery has enjoyed success with Sevilla and Villarreal in the past. Bayern want to announce the new coach in April. The decision from Alonso allows them to explore other options and get a deal lined up before the end of the season.

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