Given Alonso’s history at the Merseyside club, Alonso was quizzed on the matter, but the Leverkusen boss reiterated that he is fully focussed on Die Werkself.

Bayer Leverkusen are at the summit of the Bundesliga table ahead of Thomas Tuchel and Harry Kane's Bayern Munich.

The excellent form has resulted in Alonso being linked with his former clubs, most recently Liverpool, who will now have to deal with a managerial vacancy following Klopp's departure at the end of the season.

Alonso said:  "I have great respect for what Jürgen has achieved at Liverpool. He has done a brilliant job and has a fantastic connection to the fans.

‘’My focus is here at Bayer 04. I've got huge motivation to do a good job here. I'm very happy with the team and with the club."

Alonso signed a two-year extension last August, signing a contract that will run until 2026 and has spoken about his gratitude towards the Leverkusen hierarchy for believing in him.

“I’m very grateful for the confidence Bayer 04 have shown in me,’’ Alonso said after the extension was penned.

‘’The fact we are convinced of the same ideas and direction on the pitch, creates close affinity and confidence between the club management and myself,” he added.

Alonso under Leverkusen are unbeaten in all competitions this season, despite having to juggle the absence of key players on international duty and injuries.

“Bringing in Xabi last October did attract a lot of approval but also scepticism at the same time. We were in a difficult situation and saw in Xabi a world star but also an inexperienced coach who had not yet been in charge of a top team,’’ said Managing Director of Sport Simon Rolfes at the time of the extension.

‘’Nevertheless, I was convinced of his ability from the start and Xabi was convinced of the quality of our squad. 

‘’We overcame resistance together and created the best of all perspectives for Bayer 04. The current contract extension is an expression of great appreciation and mutual trust.” 

In the immediate future, Borussia Mönchengladbach are Leverkusen’s opponents this weekend, managed by former Bayer man Gerardo Seoane who is visiting the BayArena for as a manager the first time since leaving the club.

Seoane brought Champions League football to the BayArena, before results declined at the start of the 2022-23 season and Alonso was tasked with getting a talented, but wounded team back up the Bundesliga table.

"Gerardo deserves a warm welcome, he is rightly valued here,’’ Alonso said.

When asked about Seoane’s familiarity with his former players at Leverkusen, Alonso added: "We know Gladbach and Gladbach know us."


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