Kuala Lumpur Post

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Alonso shoots down Liverpool speculation

BERLIN — Bayer Leverkusen coach Xabi Alonso today dismissed speculation he could replace Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool.

Klopp made the surprise announcement today he would leave the club he joined in 2015, saying he was “running out of energy.”

Alonso, a former Liverpool player whose unbeaten Leverkusen side sit four points clear of Bayern Munich at the top of the Bundesliga table, has been linked to a return to the club where he won the 2005 Champions League as a player.

Saying the “speculation is normal”, Alonso told reporters: “At the moment I am really happy here… I’m not thinking about May, I’m thinking about tomorrow’s game.

German media has reported 42-year-old Alonso has a clause in his contract which allows him to leave for one of his former clubs – Liverpool, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich – should an opportunity arise.

“I am not thinking about the next step,” he said.

“I am thinking about where I am right now – I am in a great place and I am enjoying myself. And I think it’s the right place, so that’s all I can say.

“What’s going to happen in the future? I don’t know and I don’t really care at the moment.”

Alonso praised Klopp, saying he has “huge respect and great admiration for what Jurgen did for the last nine years in Liverpool – and how he did it.”

Leverkusen have dropped just six of a possible 54 points this season and have won every one of their Europa League and German Cup fixtures. They face Borussia Moenchengladbach at home tomorrow. –AFP