JAMIE CARRAGHER has tipped a former Liverpool team-mate to be the ideal man to replace Jurgen Klopp.
The football world was shocked yesterday when the German, 56, dropped the bombshell that he would be leaving Liverpool at the end of the season.
Klopp transformed Liverpool back into one of Europe’s most feared teams since taking charge in October 2015 and will lovingly be remembered as the man who ended their 30-year title drought.
The ex-Dortmund boss also led the Reds to three Champions League finals – tasting success in 2019.
And the Anfield club’s chief executive Billy Hogan has confirmed that the process to find a replacement will start immediately.
Former Liverpool midfielder Xabi Alonso, 42, is the favourite with bookmakers to become their new boss.
The Spaniard is currently in charge of Bayer Leverkusen, who are top of the Bundesliga, and his past links with the Kop make him an obvious choice.
Now his work in Germany has left his former team-mate convinced that he has what it takes to take over the top job at Anfield.
Carragher told Sky Sports: “We are losing one of the greatest managers in world football, one of the greatest managers Liverpool have ever had and it is a sad day, no doubt.
“But in the same breath, we’ve got to be looking forward to the new man coming in, get behind him and support him. Bill Shankly left, Bob Paisley left, Kenny Dalglish left and Liverpool moves on.
“You can’t get away from Xabi Alonso because he’s so respected at Liverpool already for what he did as a player – he’s a Champions League winner, held himself with real class, he’s a World Cup winner.
“Right now, the job he’s done at Bayer Leverkusen, he looks like the brightest young thing in European football. It certainly makes him the front-runner.”
Alonso was asked directly about the Liverpool job on Friday, to which he replied: “Speculation is normal, my focus is here on Bayer Leverkusen.
“I am very happy at Leverkusen with my players at the moment. [It was a] big surprise in Liverpool, of course — for what Jurgen did in Liverpool I have great respect and admiration. “I am really happy here. I am enjoying my work here. I am feeling each day and each game is a challenge. I am on a beautiful journey in Leverkusen. The next one, I don’t know.
“I am thinking about where I am right now. I am in a great place and I am enjoying. Saturday is what really matters. I don’t really care what is going to happen in the future right now.”