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Barcelona managerial target will not leave, says current club director: “I’m sure of it”

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Photo by Leon Kuegeler/Getty Images

Barcelona have been scouring the market for a new manager to take over from Xavi Hernandez at the end of the season.

The 44-year-old announced towards the end of January that he would be stepping down once the campaign was over as he felt that the team needed a change.

Since then, links to managers from top names like Jurgen Klopp to up-and-coming coaches like Thiago Motta have been doing the rounds.

And the latest entry on the list of potential candidates to replace Xavi at Barcelona is Bayer Leverkusen boss Xabi Alonso.

Despite his history with Real Madrid, Barça board members like the 42-year-old tactician for what he is doing at Leverkusen, having taken them to the top of the Bundesliga table this season while not losing a single game across all competitions.

Xabi Alonso will stay, says Leverkusen director

Barcelona are not the only club looking at Xabi Alonso, for one of his former clubs, Liverpool, are also considering him as an option for the summer as Jurgen Klopp will be leaving.

But, Simon Rolfes, the sporting director of Bayer Leverkusen, has claimed that he is confident Alonso will not be leaving the Bundesliga outfit in the summer.

“Yes, I’m sure of it,” Rolfes told Sport1 (h/t Mundo Deportivo).

Elaborating on why he believes so, the Leverkusen chief added: “One reason is the contract, the other is how comfortable he and the family feel. He knows what he has at the club. He knows that he has a very good team and that we will also have very good prospects next year.”

Rolfes (R) believes Alonso will stay at Leverkusen. (Photo by Sebastian Widmann/Getty Images)

Rolfes then went on to claim that Leverkusen were prepared to do what is needed to ensure Alonso continues at the club, saying:

“There are players we don’t want to let go. We want an absolutely top team. These are things that coaches value, like Xabi Alonso, and why they tend to stay with us.”

What has Alonso said?

Prior to the links with Barcelona and Liverpool, Alonso had also been touted as a possible option for Real Madrid, before they renewed Carlo Ancelotti’s contract. But the 42-year-old is not letting the speculations waver his focus.

“It’s normal to speculate about it, but I’m focused on Bayer Leverkusen. I’m very happy here with my players at the moment. I’m in a great moment and enjoying my job here. I feel every day and every game as a challenge,” said Xabi Alonso about his future.

Alonso signed a new contract with Bayer Leverkusen last year, committing his future to the club until 2026.

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