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Bayer Leverkusen appoint Xabi Alonso as head coach following Gerardo Seoane’s dismissal 

Spain's retired midfielder Xabi Alonso arrives to attend a court hearing for tax evasion in Madrid on January 22, 2019

Bayern Leverkusen have announced the appointment of Xabi Alonso as their new head coach this evening.

Alonso has signed a two-year deal with the club until 2024, and Sebastian Parrilla will join him as assistant coach.

The news follows Gerardo Seoane’s dismissal after an abysmal start to the 2022/23 campaign by Die Werkself. They currently sit in 17th position in the Bundesliga.

Leverkusen suffered an embarrassing 2-0 defeat to Porto in the Champions League on Tuesday, leaving them third in group B.

“Gerardo Seoane has done good work for Bayer 04 over the past one and a half years, above all with the outstanding qualification for the Champions League,” said managing director Simon Rolfes.

“Unfortunately, we have left the path of success. The early exit from the DFB Cup but in particular the current position in the Bundesliga, which does not meet our expectations, has compelled us to change coaches.”

Leverkusen CEO Fernando Carro added: “Gerardo Seoane has enjoyed very high appreciation throughout the club as a coach and as a person. It was not easy to part company. But we see no other possibility in the current situation.” 

Former Liverpool, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich defensive midfielder Alonso will now take up his first job in senior management at the BayArena.

Alonso was the coach of Real Sociedad B for three years until May this year when he quit.

Speaking to Leverkusen’s website, Alonso said: “I know Leverkusen as an outstanding club from my time in Germany. Bayer 04 always had great players, and I see a lot of quality in the current squad.

“In my discussions with the club, it quickly became clear that ambitious targets are still the aim in spite of the current difficult situation. This job really attracts me, and I’m sure we can live up to expectations.”

Alonso started with Real Madrid’s Under-14 team before taking the job with Sociedad. He was heavily linked with the Borussia Monchengladbach job last year but turned it down. Alonso is reportedly highly rated in coaching circles.

He was tipped to take over Sociedad’s senior side, but Imanol Alguacil continues to do a fine job with the Basque club.

Alonso will now start his senior managerial career against Schalke 04 this weekend. He will be hoping to begin his Leverkusen reign with all three points against the newly-promoted side.

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