Coach Xabi Alonso is concentrating on Bayer Leverkusen and has dismissed speculation linking him with some of Europe’s biggest clubs.
The 41-year-old Alonso has enjoyed a successful start to his first senior coaching job after turning Leverkusen’s fortunes around and he said Wednesday he’s not finished yet.
“I’m very happy with the team and the club. I’m not thinking at all about my future,” Alonso said before Thursday’s Europa League semifinal match against Roma. “I’m fully focused on what I want, and I’ve spoken with everyone who needs to know.”
Asked if that meant he will be coaching Leverkusen next season, Alonso replied, “yes, that’s correct.”
Alonso, whose contract with Leverkusen runs to 2024, had been linked with taking over from Carlo Ancelotti at his former club Real Madrid or at Premier League club Tottenham.
Leverkusen was second from last in the Bundesliga when Alonso took over from the fired Gerardo Seoane last October. He has since led the team to seventh place with two rounds remaining, while a place in the Europa League final is still possible.
Leverkusen needs to overturn a 1-0 deficit against Roma when it hosts the Italian team for the second leg on Thursday.
“The first game was very close. We can expect more tomorrow," Alonso said. “The little details will be important. But I feel the energy from the team and if we give everything on the field, we can proud after the game.”