Bayern Munich have added Xabi Alonso to their managerial shortlist as they set about replacing Niko Kovac.
Despite guiding Die Roten to another Bundesliga crown last season, indifferent performances at start the 2019/20 saw the pressure mount on Kovac, before a 5-1 defeat at Frankfurt proved to be the final nail in the coffin.
His departure means that the club are looking for their fourth manager since Pep Guardiola left just over three years ago, and it's believed that former player Alonso - who currently manages Real Sociedad B - is one of Bayern's targets.
“Alonso is admired in the club and especially among the board and executives,” according to a source for The Athletic, as quoted by the Daily Star. “He is a guy who sums up everything Bayern stand for. He is a gentleman, was an incredible player for the club, and this is the type of combination they are looking for. But he is still lacking experience as a coach.
"He’s just getting started, basically in a youth league. Bayern are not a developed team at present. They need to restructure and have lots of homework to do before thinking about Alonso. That’s probably a solution for two or three years from now.”
The former Liverpool man, who played for Bayern between 2014 and 2017, is certainly less experienced than some of the other names linked with the job. Mauricio Pochettino and Thomas Tuchel are also believed to be in the running, but the Spaniard is highly thought of by many at the Allianz Arena and they are taking a long-term view towards the 37-year-old.
Despite his inexperience, Alonso's long playing career at the highest level stands him in good stead when it comes to management. The Spaniard was coached by some of the finest managers of this generation, playing under the likes of Jose Mourinho, Pep Guardiola and Carlo Ancelotti, potentially leaving Alonso with a plethora of ideas and methods when it comes to coaching.
However, Bayern are set to hand the reins to Hansi Flick for the remainder of the season as they eye an eighth consecutive Bundesliga crown. An impressive 4-0 victory over Dortmund on Saturday was the perfect start as they go about chasing surprise table-toppers Borussia Monchengladbach.