Real Madrid is reportedly eyeing Bayer Leverkusen’s head coach, Xabi Alonso, as the successor to Carlo Ancelotti in 2024. Despite Ancelotti’s continued tenure at the Bernabeu and a solid start to the season, the club’s management has decided to explore new leadership options.
Ancelotti’s tenure saw Real Madrid miss out on both La Liga and the Champions League titles in the 2023-24 season. While the team began the new campaign impressively with five consecutive victories, they faced a setback with a recent defeat against Atletico Madrid. Nevertheless, regardless of the season’s outcome, it is widely anticipated that Ancelotti will pursue new challenges upon the expiry of his contract.
The Italian manager has long been linked with the role of coaching the Brazilian national team, an opportunity he has yet to explore in his illustrious career. With Ancelotti’s potential departure on the horizon, Real Madrid President Florentino Perez has been contemplating his successor, with an entire season at his disposal to weigh his options.
However, according to reports from Radio Marca, Real Madrid has already made the strategic decision to pursue Xabi Alonso’s services starting from the 2024-25 season. In his nearly 12-month tenure at Bayer Leverkusen, the 41-year-old has transformed the German club into title contenders in the Bundesliga, accumulating an impressive 16 points from their first six matches in the current season.
Under Alonso’s guidance, Leverkusen made a commendable run to the Europa League semi-finals in the 2022-23 season, and they are poised to mount another strong challenge for the same trophy this year. With 23 wins, 11 draws, and only 10 defeats in his 44 matches in charge, Alonso’s performance has apparently convinced Perez and other Real Madrid officials that their former midfielder is the ideal candidate to succeed Ancelotti.
While Alonso has a long-term contract with Leverkusen, he may perceive the opportunity to return to Real Madrid as too enticing to resist, even at this stage of his managerial career. The former Spanish international spent six fruitful years at Real Madrid between 2009 and 2015, making 236 appearances and clinching La Liga and Champions League titles. His managerial journey began in Spain with Real Sociedad’s ‘B’ side, where he notched 40 wins from 98 games before Leverkusen provided him the platform to further develop his managerial prowess.