Jonathan Johnson has told CaughtOffside that he could imagine Lille manager Paulo Fonseca might be a possible outsider for the Liverpool job in the summer.
While the French football expert, speaking exclusively to CaughtOffside for his Daily Briefing column, accepted that it was unlikely we’d see anyone from France’s top flight taking over from Jurgen Klopp, he could see Fonseca being one outsider candidate.
The Portuguese tactician has done impressive work at Lille and also has good experience from previous roles at big clubs like Roma and Shakhtar Donetsk, so it could be that he’ll one day be up for a big job in the Premier League.
For now, however, Johnson can’t quite see a Ligue 1 manager making quite that kind of step up, while he also stated his opinion that Xabi Alonso just looks like the most obvious leading candidate for the Reds job due to his past connection with the club from his playing days, as well as the tremendous job he’s done at Bayer Leverkusen.
“We know Liverpool and Barcelona are going to be on the lookout for new managers at the end of this coming season, and while I’d love to say there’s someone managing in Ligue 1 who could be in the conversation for either of those clubs, my honest opinion is that there’s not currently anyone in the French top flight who could step in to either role,” Johnson said.
“For Liverpool, it’s very hard to see past the obvious fit of Xabi Alonso. The work he’s doing with this Bayer Leverkusen team this season is just phenomenal, if you look at their record but also the way they play, like in their commanding victory over Bayern Munich at the weekend, then the links are obvious, especially as Carlo Ancelotti has extended his contract as Real Madrid manager – it falls really nicely for Xabi Alonso to tread the path to Anfield.”
He added: “If I was to pick anybody from Ligue 1 as a bit of an outsider who might be worth considering I might be tempted to go for Lille’s Paulo Fonseca because of the experience he’s had at some big clubs. He’s done decent work with Lille since coming in, but even then I still think it would be quite a leap for him to go to a Liverpool or a Barcelona, with all due respect.”