Dietmar Hamann is confident Xabi Alonso would jump at the chance to manage Liverpool but hopes to see the Spaniard stay on at Bayer Leverkusen for another season.
The 56-year-old has steered Liverpool to seven pieces of silverware across his magnificent reign and will be determined to add to that number before his departure, with the Merseyside giants battling for honours in the Premier League, FA Cup and Carabao Cup.
Legendary ex-Liverpool and Spain midfielder Alonso, one of the club’s heroes in Istanbul, is the bookmakers’ favourite to take over the reins from Klopp after an exceptional start to his managerial career in charge of Leverkusen.
Hamann, who lifted the Champions League trophy with Alonso back in 2005, has been blown away by his old team-mate’s success and feels it would be ‘very hard’ to turn down Liverpool should they come calling.
‘Well, the story coming out of Leverkusen, he extended his contract earlier in the season but I’m sure they’ve got an agreement so that if he wants to leave in the summer, he can go,’ Hamann told The Stand with Eamon Dunphy podcast.
‘As a football romantic, I would love to see him do another season at Leverkusen.
‘But the problem might be, can they keep the team together? They’ve got some outstanding players and I think one or two will leave which obviously will harm their chances next season.
‘I think if Liverpool come calling, I think it’s very hard to turn down, even though he follows in Klopp’s footsteps. But the thing is, sometimes the big clubs, they only come once.
‘If somebody comes in in the summer and does well, the job might not be on offer for five or six years, or maybe nine years if they find another Klopp. So, I think if Liverpool come calling, I think he’ll take it.’
Alonso said he had ‘great respect’ for the job Klopp has done at Liverpool as he was pressed on the swirling rumours linking him with the soon-to-be vacant position on Merseyside.
‘Speculations are normal, but my focus is Bayer Leverkusen,’ Alonso told reporters.
‘I am very happy right now with my players in Leverkusen.
‘Of course, Jurgen Klopp’s departure from Liverpool was a big surprise. I have great respect and admiration for what he did.’
Asked if he could rule out being Liverpool’s next manager, he added: ‘Honestly… I don’t have a direct answer.
‘I’m happy here right now, that’s for sure, and only thinking about Leverkusen.’
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