Barcelona finds Liverpool’s Xabi Alonso alternative ‘too costly’ and eyes Premier League position.

The Italian is one of the options being explored by the Reds, though Xabi Alonso remains their primary target. Klopp announced last month that he would be leaving Liverpool at the end of the season as he feels that he is ‘running out of energy’ in the Anfield dugout. The ex-Borussia Dortmund boss admitted that he felt he needed to take responsibility for his departure given that the higher powers at the club have stood by him through thick and thin, meaning he was never going to get sacked.

Following the blockbuster news, Liverpool have been working around the clock to identify Klopp’s successor. Numerous potential candidates for the summer vacancy have been shortlisted, with Sporting’s Ruben Amorim and Germany national team boss Julian Nagelsmann among their considerations. Brighton manager De Zerbi has also been linked with the position, with the 44-year-old largely believed to be a ‘Plan B’ if Liverpool do not manage to lure Alonso away from Bayer Leverkusen this summer.

Other top clubs also have been linked with De Zerbi, including La Liga giants Barcelona. De Zerbi is regarded as an ‘expensive option’ at a time when Barca are particularly short of funds and in a tricky financial situation. The Seagulls boss is also keen to remain in the Premier League for the foreseeable future, be that at the Amex Stadium or elsewhere.

The ex-Sassuolo boss feels that other English outfits will arrive further down the line and is therefore in no rush to push for a move abroad. Manchester United and Manchester City have both been linked with De Zerbi previously, and succeeding close friend Pep Guardiola at the Etihad Stadium could be an opportunity that catches his eye. Liverpool will be pleased to learn that they will not need to fend off interest from Barca if they do opt to pursue the former Shakhtar Donetsk manager, though the higher powers on Merseyside will be hoping that they will not need to consider De Zerbi given that it is widely reported that Alonso is their favoured option at this stage.

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