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Liverpool hold secret advantage in race for Xabi Alonso

Liverpool director Richard Hughes shares an excellent relationship with Xabi Alonso’s agent, Inaki Ibanez, which could give them the upper hand in the race for the Bayer Leverkusen manager.

The Reds are looking for a new boss after sorting out the front office by rehiring Michael Edwards as Chief Executive Officer of football for Fenway Sports Group (FSG). He brought in Hughes as sporting director.

Their first task is finding a replacement for Jurgen Klopp replacement, who is leaving Anfield this summer.

Alonso is Liverpool’s prime candidate to replace the charismatic Klopp, but the situation is not straightforward. 

Bayern Munich are also preparing a summer swoop for the Spanish tactician, with both clubs backing themselves to secure his signature.

However, Liverpool could hold an ace up their sleeves thanks to Hughes’ connection with Ibanez (h/t the Daily Mail). It may not be much, but it is a potential advantage. 

Hughes is also familiar with Liverpool’s second-choice manager, Roberto De Zerbi. He famously had his football upbringing in Italy and has had an eye on De Zerbi.

When Scott Parker left the club two years ago, Hughes reportedly wanted to bring in De Zerbi at Bournemouth

De Zerbi is also on Bayern’s shortlist to replace Thomas Tuchel. However, in true Bayern fashion, the Bavarians have been moving confidently, believing they have the upper hand in the Alonso chase.

Alonso and De Zerbi are not the only candidates for the Liverpool job. Sporting CP boss Ruben Amorim also ranks highly in the club’s internal data tests led by head of research Will Spearman.

Amorim is a serial winner and an excellent communicator who shares the same agent as Luis Diaz.

But it would take a record compensation fee of around £25 million to poach him from the Primeira Liga table-toppers.

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