'Grateful' Alonso confirms decision to stay at Leverkusen
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‘Grateful’ Alonso confirms decision to stay at Leverkusen

Xabi Alonso has confirmed his decision to stay with Bayer Leverkusen and said he is ‘grateful’ to the club for giving him an opportunity to begin his coaching career.

Alonso has been subject of approaches from Bayern Munich and Liverpool as the two clubs conduct searches for new managers, having emerged as European football’s most coveted coach at Leverkusen.

The 42-year-old has led Leverkusen to the top of the Bundesliga title in his first full season at the BayArena, with the German league leaders 10 points clear of defending champions Bayern Munich with eight games to go.

 

Leverkusen are unbeaten in all competitions this season and chasing a historic first Bundesliga title, while the club are also into the latter stages of the DFB-Pokal and Europa League as Alonso targets a treble.

The Spaniard has decided to turn down overtures from some of European football’s biggest clubs – and two of his former sides – to continue his project at Leverkusen.

Speaking at his pre-match press conference ahead of this weekend’s clash with Hoffenheim, Alonso said he is where he ‘wants to be’.

“I’m grateful to Bayer and the board, the players, the fans… I feel that this is the best way, to continue together. I have also informed the players, it’s true.

“My deadline was this week, it’s matter of respect. Now everything is clear.

 

“I’m not gonna comment about Liverpool or Bayern. These are big clubs and I’ve strong links with them but I’m in the place where I want to be.

“It’s not time to decide my future now, I want to develop at Bayer Leverkusen.

“Last week I had a very good meeting when I informed of them [Leverkusen’s directors] of my decision to continue being coach of Bayer Leverkusen. For sure all the decisions you need to analyse well. I try to take the right ones, I try to take them in a natural way.

“At the moment this is the right place for me to develop as a coach, I am a young coach. Right now this is the right place. I have to thank the management. The club had been supportive and I feel respected by all departments. The fans they have shown great support and they have reasons to believe and dream we will have a great season. I have a great staff to help me work day by day, and so for sure the players.”

Read – Liverpool to turn to Amorim after Alonso decision made

See more – Eight talking points ahead of the Premier League weekend

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