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Xabi Alonso renews with Bayer Leverkusen, cooling rumors of Real Madrid switch in 2024

The Spaniard renewed his contract until 2026 despite being one of the front-runners for a potential open Real Madrid managerial job in 2024.

Bayer 04 Leverkusen v AS Roma: Semi-Final Second Leg - UEFA Europa League Photo by Joachim Bywaletz/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

Xabi Alonso has renewed his Bayer Leverkusen managerial contract by two years, extending his stay in Germany until 2026.

The former Real Madrid midfielder has been repeatedly named as one of the top candidates to replace Carlo Ancelotti once the Italian’s contract expires in 2024. Despite only one year as a top flight professional coach, Alonso has worked wonders with Bayer Leverkusen. The team were struggling before his arrival and flirting with relegation but ended up finishing 6th in the Bundesliga and securing a European spot. They also made it to the semi-finals of the Europa League.

Xabi Alonso has been able to attract talent like Xhaka and Grimaldo to Leverkusen, both of whom spoke about their desire to work with the legend. Alonso was also interested in players like Fran Garcia and Sergio Arribas, with Leverkusen’s interest triggering Madrid’s urgency on purchasing Fran Garcia’s rights earlier this year.

Given Xabi Alonso’s short spell as a top flight manager, his recent renewal, and his own timeline for taking gradual steps — something he has spoken about in the past — means it may not be likely that he replaces Carlo Ancelotti in 2024, despite what the media has reported. His managerial trajectory will be one to watch and if he continues on the same path, he may eventually end up coaching at the Santiago Bernabeu years down the line.

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