Liverpool face a notorious problem over Klopp’s successor and Bellingham knows why

He has emerged a clear favorite to take over from Jurgen Klopp when he leaves Liverpool, although the Reds could encounter a familiar problem before then.

Jürgen Klopp’s possible departure from Liverpool is a moment the club’s fans would rather not think about.

The German’s influence at Anfield is simply remarkable. He has transformed what was once a club struggling to rediscover its former glory, in the midst of a continued descent into mid-table obscurity, into an all-conquering juggernaut, struggling on a much tighter budget than Manchester City – and to some of the teams that regularly finished below the Reds.

There are few, if any, managers Liverpool can call upon to make a similar impact, making 2026 a scary prospect.

This is of course when Klopp’s contract expires and after surprising many with his decision to extend his stay last year, it feels like this could be the last time he makes such a decision.

Numerous candidates have been floated as possible successors, although one familiar name appears to have emerged as the top option among some supporters.

Xabi Alonso is certainly making the right choice as coach. After taking over Bayer Leverkusen last year, he led the German side out of the relegation zone to sixth place and reached the semi-finals of the Europa League.

And he picked up where he left off last season: after seven matches, his team sits first in the Bundesliga standings, with six wins and one draw.

It is therefore no surprise that Leverkusen tied Alonso to a new contract this summer, with the former Liverpool midfielder’s new deal set to expire in 2026, at the same time as Klopp’s.

And even more intriguing, SportBILD (via FourFourTwo) now claims there is a clause in the contract that allows him to leave for some top club, namely Liverpool, Bayern Munich or Real Madrid.

That could lead to some Liverpool fans getting excited at the prospect of Alonso possibly succeeding Klopp at Anfield, but that clause could also prove a major obstacle for the Reds.

The problem is that Bayern and Real Madrid are much more likely to look for new managers before Liverpool.

Thomas Tuchel may not have had enough time to prove himself in the former case, and he won the Bundesliga last season – albeit thanks to a big collapse against Borussia Dortmund on the final day – so it may be that he will stay longer in Bavaria. 

But Los Blancos are a completely different proposition. Reports from the continent suggest that Carlo Ancelotti will leave the Bernabéu next summer regardless of whether or not he wins the trophy this season (Globo Esporte, via Football Espana).

Even if he doesn’t leave of his own accord, one trophyless season in the past was enough for Madrid to part ways with their coaches.

Alonso could therefore become a wanted man very soon, especially if he continues his success in Germany. And when Real Madrid come calling, the Spanish giant invariably gets what he wants.

Liverpool know this better than most. Aurélien Tchouaméni and Jude Bellingham were missing last year when the pair moved to the Spanish capital, and Alonso also moved from Anfield to the Bernabéu during his playing days.

Real obviously knows the equality they have compared to other clubs. José Manuel Otero, a member of Real Madrid’s board of directors, said the same when speaking about a conversation with Manchester City about Bellingham.

“They told us this recently at lunch with Girona, owned by City Football Group,” he said in a Twitch stream (via Football Transfers). “People from Manchester City came to dinner and told us they had spoken to Bellingham.

“They said that their father had entertained them a little by giving them hope, but Jude said no, he wanted to play for Real Madrid. It happens to many players.” When the prospect of signing for Real Madrid opens up to them, they forget everything else. Madrid is the best way to achieve glory.”

Alonso would be a dream appointment as Liverpool manager, especially now that Steven Gerrard’s chances have been seriously damaged.

But as Otero says, if Real Madrid were to come for the Reds, they may have no choice but to watch another player escape their grasp.

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