Xabi Alonso has been tipped to replace Carlo Ancelotti as Real Madrid coach from next season, according to reports in Spain.
The Liverpool legend has been a first-team manager for less than a year after taking over Bayer Leverkusen last October, after managing Real Sociedad B team for three years.
According to Radio MARCA, Real's hierarchy aren't concerned by Alonso's lack of managerial experience and have made the 41-year-old their preferred choice to become Ancelotti's successor.
A two-time European champion with Spain, Alonso spent six seasons at the Santiago Bernabeu as a player, winning LaLiga in 2012 and then the Champions League two years later during Ancelotti's first spell at the club.
The 2010 World Cup winner retired after three seasons at Bayern Munich and managed Real's youth team, before taking over Real Sociedad B side.
In October last year, Alonso replaced Gerardo Seoane at Leverkusen with the team second from bottom after eight Bundesliga games.
The Spaniard, who spent five seasons at Anfield, made an immediate impact, guiding Leverkusen to sixth in the Bundesliga and to the semi-finals of the Europa League.
Leverkusen have made a superb start to the season and trail champions Bayern Munich only on goal difference with 13 points in five games.
Alonso attracted interest from Tottenham before they appointed Ange Postecoglou, but he committed to Leverkusen and in August signed a three-year extension running to the end of the 2025-26 season.
Ancelotti, meanwhile, is expected to step down when his contract runs out at the end of the season and has been tipped to take over as Brazil boss ahead of the 2024 Copa America.
The former Chelsea boss won LaLiga in 2022 and lifted his second Champions League trophy with theRead on m.allfootballapp.com