Ex-Liverpool star Xabi Alonso has suggested a return to the club as manager could be on the cards in a post-Jurgen Klopp future at Anfield.
Alonso retired from football in 2017, and after a brief spell working as a youth coach with Real Madrid last year, he will make his first step into management this weekend, as he takes charge of Real Sociedad's B team in the Spanish third tier.
His status as a coach has grown fairly quickly over the last 12 months or so, and if it continues at its current trajectory then there is reason to believe he may one day be under consideration to take over at Anfield.
When asked if he would manage Liverpool one day, Alonso refused to rule it out. However, he insisted that while the budding management careers of himself and fellow icon Steven Gerrard may be on the up, Klopp's Champions League-winning tenure is going nowhere for now.
"Well at the moment they have an absolutely fantastic manager and we all as Liverpool fans are thrilled with Jurgen, with what he's doing," he said, in an interview with the BBC.
"You could feel he was the man because of the way he embraced the Liverpool culture, the way he connected with the fans - you could see that he could make a great job. Even the best expectations he has fulfilled. He's the man at the moment.
"Our generation that have been playing in the Champions League for many years, we're almost taking a step back and taking steps into management.
"It's part of the cycle of football but for me it's great to follow Stevie [Gerrard], to follow Mikel [Arteta], to follow Frank Lampard - what he's doing and so many young managers that are already there."
Alonso had previously said in 2018 that he has 'dreamt' of returning to the club as manager, saying then it's something he would have to consider if he decided to 'take his chances' in management.
Xabi Alonso on managing Liverpool: “I have dreamt of that, but first I have to prove myself & prepare. If I decide somewhere along the way to take my chances as a manager, my link, my commitment, my passion with Liverpool is there. We will see if we can cross paths in our ways."— DaveOCKOP (@DaveOCKOP) January 12, 2018
“I have dreamt of that, but first I have to prove myself & prepare. If I decide somewhere along the way to take my chances as a manager, my link, my commitment, my passion with Liverpool is there.
"We will see if we can cross paths in our ways."