Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher names clear 'frontrunner' to replace Jurgen Klopp - 'There's no doubt'

Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher names clear 'frontrunner' to replace Jurgen Klopp - 'There's no doubt'

WATCH NOW: Jurgen Klopp announces he will leave Liverpool

Lewis Winter

By Lewis Winter

Published: 26/01/2024

- 17:48

The Reds will need to replace their long-serving manager in the summer

Jamie Carragher believes Xabi Alonso is without doubt the leading candidate to replace Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool.

The former defender has backed his old team-mate to take over at Anfield in the summer following a successful start to his managerial career.

Klopp announced on Friday morning that, after almost nine years in charge, he will be leaving at the end of the season.

Bayer Leverkusen boss Alonso was immediately installed as the favourite to step into the German's shoes.

Jamie Carragher

Jamie Carragher believes Xabi Alonso is the frontrunner to replace Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool


Alonso only took over at Leverkusen in 2022 but has quickly become regarded as one of the best young coaches in Europe.

Leverkusen sit top of the Bundesliga, four points clear of Bayern Munich, and are yet to lose a single match this season.

Alonso, who spent five years as a player at Liverpool and won the Champions League with the club in 2005, played down rumours at his press conference on Friday afternoon.

Speaking to Sky Sports News, Carragher insists the Spaniard is by far the standout option for the Reds.

He said: "Well I think right now you look at the Premier League and you look around Europe and you think 'Who suits Liverpool?'.

"There's no doubt you can't get away from Xabi Alonso, a former team-mate of mine, because he's so respected at Liverpool already for what he did as a player, he's a Champions League winner as well.

"Held himself with real class, he's a World Cup winner, that's just his playing side.

"You think of the managers, he's had Rafa Benitez at Liverpool, Jose Mourinho, [Carlo] Ancelotti, all these great figures.

"Right now, with the job he's doing at Bayer Leverkusen, he almost looks the brightest young thing in European football. There's no doubt about that."

Brighton boss Roberto De Zerbi is also among the early contenders to replace Klopp.

Carragher is also a fan of the Italian and says he and Alonso have similar qualities to Klopp.

The pundit added: "The other one I look at in the Premier League is I look at De Zerbi at Brighton, he's done a fantastic job.

"The thing that stands out about them is, which always stood out about Jurgen Klopp, was that Jurgen Klopp was successful without being the biggest spenders at teams.


Xabi Alonso

Xabi Alonso is the favourite to replace Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool


"If you're looking at Xabi Alonso, right now he's at Bayer Leverkusen trying to compete with Bayern Munich.

"You look at what De Zerbi's doing at Brighton, competing with other top teams in the league who are doing really well, especially last season."

But despite putting De Zerbi's name forward, Carragher again reiterated his belief that Alonso is leading the way.

He continued: "But I would certainly say the frontrunner, and I don't think I'm being too original in saying this, would certainly be Xabi Alonso.

Jurgen Klopp

Jurgen Klopp will stand down as Liverpool boss in the summer


"The job he's doing at Bayer Leverkusen, they're still the only undefeated team in Europe now in all competitions.

"There's a long way to go but they're in a great position in all competitions.

"I think of his playing career, what he's achieved, the managers he's had, and the start he's made to his managerial career, it certainly makes him the frontrunner."

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