Xabi Alonso has dealt a significant blow to Bayern Munich and Liverpool by declaring that he will remain with Bayer Leverkusen. The former midfielder has been heavily linked with a summer move to either side in recent months. Nevertheless, the Spaniard has resisted jumping ship and is set to continue with the Bundesliga leaders.

The highly rated coach revealed his decision during a scheduled press conference on Friday. “There has been a lot of speculation around my future, we have been busy and focused, and I wanted the international break to reflect a bit better,” stated Alonso.

“I had a very good meeting with the decision makers, and I decided to stay at Bayer Leverkusen. I feel this is the right place to develop as a coach… my job is not over here.”

Despite two of the biggest teams in the world targeting him, Alonso claimed that Leverkusen was the right club to develop as a manager. “I am a young coach, but I have to feel it and right now I feel that this is the right place and I have to thank the management. The club has been really supportive. I feel really respected by all the departments.”

Brighton coach on Liverpool’s radar ahead of weekend matchup

Alonso’s decision will now force Bayern and Liverpool to go to a contingency. Along with having a shared interest in the Spaniard, both big clubs are reportedly targeting the same coach as a plan B. Brighton boss Roberto De Zerbi has also been linked with the two teams, should Alonso remain with Leverkusen.

Bayern director of sport Max Eberl supposedly even discussed the potential position with De Zerbi in recent days. The Premier League side, on the other hand, has links to the Brighton coach through new sporting director Richard Hughes. He attempted to sign De Zerbi while previously with Bournemouth.

Oddly enough, Brighton is battling Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday. With Alonso now off of the board, the upcoming game could be an opportunity for De Zerbi to prove himself directly in front of the Liverpool brass. Anfield is one of the toughest stadiums for traveling teams, but the Seagulls play an attractive attacking style of soccer.

The Italian has faced off against Jurgen Klopp’s club four times since becoming Brighton’s manager and has yet to lose. De Zerbi has also taken his team to Anfield once during this timeframe. The two teams played out to an enthralling 3-3 draw just weeks after De Zerbi arrived on the South Coast.

Real Madrid will likely enter Alonso sweepstakes in 2025

Alonso opting to remain with Leverkusen does not necessarily mean that he will not eventually make the transition to Liverpool. Mikel Arteta was previously a finalist for the Arsenal job back in the summer of 2018. The north London club ultimately decided to hire Unai Emery instead. Arteta, however, entered the fray 18 months later and has since become one of the top coaches in Europe.

Nevertheless, Alonso may very well have rejected Bayern and Liverpool to eventually move to Real Madrid. The Spaniard has a release clause in his Leverkusen contract that will become active in the summer of 2025. It is certainly possible that the Spaniard is holding out for a potential move to Madrid. Current Real coach Carlo Ancelotti has respect at the club, but Alonso seems to be the perfect successor to the Italian legend.