Leverkusen’s CEO has spoken out.
“Bayer Leverkusen have denied that there is a clause in the contract of their impressive coach Xabi Alonso that would allow him to move to Real Madrid, Liverpool or Bayern Munich,” British outlet Goal.com reported on Aug. 18 (local time).
Alonso became Real Madrid’s youth coach in 2018 after completing the UEFA Elite Coaching Course. He was promoted to head coach of Juvenil A after leading the Infantil A (U-13) team to the league title with 22 wins, one draw and a staggering 142 goals scored and 12 conceded.
He took over as head coach of Real Sociedad B in 2019 and led them to their first promotion in 60 years in the 2020/21 season with 15 wins, 5 draws, and a first-place finish in the league. However, the team was relegated to 20th place in the 2021/22 season with 10 wins, 10 draws, and 22 losses.
He then took over as head coach of Leverkusen in the German Bundesliga, a club that had been in disarray under Gerardo Seoane. He took over in October 2022 and quickly set about overhauling the team. When he arrived, Leverkusen were 17th in the league with one win, but he won his first game 4-0.
He also reached the quarterfinals of the Europa League and went on to win the league as well, leading the team to a sixth-place finish and a spot in the Europa League this season.
It was his first season in charge at the senior level, and despite his mid-season appointment, he had a successful campaign, winning 17 games, drawing 10 and losing 10, scoring 67 goals and conceding 46. He led Leverkusen to a sixth-place finish in the league and a Europa League semifinal appearance, having finished bottom of the league and out of the Champions League at the group stage under his predecessor, Seoane.
He signed a new contract with Leverkusen on August 4, 2023, until 2026, despite a number of big clubs calling on him. He continues to lead the league this season with 10 wins and one draw, and has a goal differential of +24, thanks in large part to his potent offense.
Back in September, it was reported that Real Madrid were looking to sign Alonso as Carlo Ancelotti’s successor, with Ancelotti set to leave the club to join the Brazilian national team. It is thought that Real’s hierarchy are not too worried about Alonso’s lack of experience and are willing to take a risk on him becoming their new manager.
With links to Real and Liverpool steadily emerging, it has been rumored that Alonso has a release clause in his contract that would allow him to leave Leverkusen in 2024 to take charge elsewhere, but Leverkusen CEO Fernando Caro has insisted that this is not true, although he has not guaranteed Alonso’s stay.
When asked about the existence of a transfer clause, Carro said: “No, but we don’t need one. We have a very good relationship with Alonso and he knows we are a serious club. And at the end of the day, we’re not going to force a player to stay if he doesn’t want to stay. We want him to feel happy and good with us so that he really wants to stay and that’s our goal.”
Carro added: “There is nothing on paper (to allow Alonso to move to his former club). But sometimes a contract is a contract even if it’s not on paper. If Alonso needs to move in the future, we can talk to each other. And I hope it doesn’t happen because I want him to stay and be happy at Leverkusen.”
It will be very interesting to see what the future holds for Alonso, who has been heavily linked with a return to Real. For the time being, though, he’ll be focused on challenging for the Bundesliga title.