Bayer Leverkusen director Simon Rolfes has insisted the club are not worried about the prospect of head coach Xabi Alonso leaving for Real Madrid.
Alonso took over Leverkusen in October 2022 following a stint in charge of Real Sociedad’s B team. He joined the club when they were sitting 17th in the Bundesliga but managed to steer them to a sixth-placed finish and to the semi-finals of the Europa League, falling to Jose Mourinho’s Roma.
Leverkusen have started the 2023/24 season in superb form and sit top of the Bundesliga having won five of their opening six games. They also held Bayern Munich to a 2-2 draw at the Allianz Arena.
90min reported last week that Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has been impressed by Alonso’s work at Leverkusen. Brighton & Hove Albion’s Roberto De Zerbi is also under consideration to succeed Carlo Ancelotti, who has been widely tipped to take the Brazil national team job at the end of the season.
But Rolfes has played down speculation that Alonso could leave Leverkusen in the near future, pointing to the fact the Spaniard signed a new contract at the club running until 2026 over the summer.
“We got his commitment a few weeks ago when he extended his contract,” Rolfes said. “Xabi doesn’t have to say anything. He has extended his contract. He’s fully focused here.”
Alonso was asked last week whether he was aware of Real Madrid’s interest in his services, but he too dismissed talk of a move away from Leverkusen.
“It’s too early to talk about this, we’re in September, so it’s not an issue to discuss. Both the players and I know how football works, it’s not a problem for anyone, and we have not talked about it,” he said.
Alonso played 236 games for Real Madrid between 2009 and 2014, winning five trophies with the club and helping them to their historic 10th Champions League title in his final season.
What we know
- Real Madrid impressed by Xabi Alonso’s spell at Bayer Leverkusen
- Los Blancos doing due dilligence on possible successors to Carlo Ancelotti
- Leverkusen insist they are not worried about Alonso’s commitment.