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Bayern Munich: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Xabi Alonso and Zinedine Zidane potential Thomas Tuchel successors

Sky in Germany: Xabi Alonso and Zinedine Zidane targets if Bayern Munich decide to part ways with Thomas Tuchel this summer; ex-Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is a shock potential interim solution should the German side be forced to make a change mid-season

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Ex-Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has emerged as a shock candidate to succeed Bayern Munich boss Thomas Tuchel

Liverpool target Xabi Alonso is the preferred candidate to succeed Thomas Tuchel if Bayern Munich decide to part ways with the manager this summer – while they are also looking at Zinedine Zidane and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, according to Sky in Germany.

The pressure has increased on Tuchel following Bayern's 3-2 loss at Bochum on Sunday which leaves the German team eight points behind Alonso's Bundesliga leaders Bayer Leverkusen.

It was also a third straight defeat after they were beaten 1-0 at Lazio in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie last week.

Facing a first trophyless season in 12 years, Bayern's primary plan remains to reach the end of the campaign with Tuchel and honestly assess the situation.

Bayern's hierarchy immediately decided to stick with Tuchel after the embarrassing defeat at Bochum with the former Chelsea and PSG boss not considering his resignation.

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Highlights as Bochum defeat Bayern Munich 3-2 to mount pressure on Thomas Tuchel as they fail to close the gap on leaders Bayer Leverkusen

Sky Germany's Felix Fischer said: "It's a lot of pressure. The bosses are looking at game-to-game and watching really closely, as well as an eye on how Tuchel is presenting himself and how the team is playing.

"They didn't expect the defeat to Bochum at all and now they have a closer look at how the team performs against Leipzig in Munich on Saturday night.

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"It could be a do-or-die game for Tuchel. The bosses want to finish the season with him as a coach, but we know they have some other coaches in the back of their mind."

Work is going on in the background regarding his potential successor and, in the event of a summer separation from Tuchel, Alonso is considered the preferred solution internally.

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Jamie Carragher analyses Bayer Leverkusen's style of football under Xabi Alonso

The former Liverpool midfielder is the bookmakers' favourite to succeed Jurgen Klopp at Anfield this summer after impressing at Leverkusen.

Klopp has recently hailed the Spaniard as the "standout" manager from the new generation of bosses.

Another of the most prominent candidates Bayern have been thinking about too, in the past few hours and days, is ex-Real Madrid head coach Zidane.

There is nothing concrete at this stage, but what Bayern appreciate about the Frenchman is his aura and experience while he is also immediately available.

Zidane resigned from his second stint as Real Madrid manager in May 2021
Image: Zinedine Zidane resigned from his second stint as Real Madrid manager in May 2021

The 51-year-old, who has been without a job since leaving Real in May 2021, won the Champions League three times in his managerial time at the Spanish club, while he also led them to the LaLiga title twice.

Bayern have also been looking at ex-Manchester United boss Solskjaer as a potential interim solution should they be forced to make a change before the end of the campaign.

Bayern sporting director Christoph Freund knows Solskjaer very well and has been following the Norwegian's path for years. However, there have not yet been any concrete discussions about that eventuality.

Solskjaer has been without a job since being sacked by Man Utd in November 2021. He spent nearly three years in charge at Old Trafford as he guided United to second in the 2020/21 season and lost the 2021 Europa League final on penalties to Villarreal.

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We look at the highs and lows of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's managerial spell at Man Utd

The 50-year-old is currently employed as a UEFA technical observer, attending Champions League games and providing reports throughout this season.

Discussing the potential candidates, Fischer added: "It would be very difficult to get Alonso now, of course. There's no chance because he wants to win three titles with Bayer Leverkusen. It's not an option for now. But for the future, they really have Alonso on their mind as an ex-player and as a really good coach.

"Zidane is on the list, he was a big player and was really successful as a coach already for Real Madrid. But as far as we know, there hasn't been any contact yet.

"The same counts for Solskjaer. He is a true legend of Manchester United and he became a nightmare for Bayern during the Champions League final in 1999.

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Sky Germany's Felix Fischer looks at the candidates who could replace Thomas Tuchel should Bayern Munich part company with their manager

"But the club wants to finish the season with Tuchel and to help, they have to be successful in the next weeks. Maybe they can continue the work with him, not just this season, but maybe in the next one. That's the target but it's a difficult target right now."

With Bayern, Liverpool and, reportedly, Real Madrid circling, is it inevitable Alonso will leave Bayer Leverkusen?

Fischer added: "It isn't. One of the bosses said that he is certain Alonso will stay at the club. Those words can change, but it's all in the hands of Alonso. He will decide which step is best for him and which he will take next.

"If he wants to stay with Leverkusen and be successful with that club, he will do that. If there is really a chance to join Liverpool after Jurgen Klopp leaves, or Real Madrid if Carlo Ancelotti leaves or at Bayern if Tuchel leaves, he will do what feels right to him."

Bayern could rival Liverpool for Alonso

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Melissa Reddy discusses the favourite candidates to replace Jurgen Klopp at the end of the season and why Liverpool will be interested in them

Sky Sports News senior reporter Melissa Reddy:

It is testament not only to his suitability for the role, but his status as the next top manager that Xabi Alonso is spoken about separately in the discussion for the Liverpool job to succeed Jurgen Klopp. There is Xabi, and then The Others.

It is a consequence of his small yet sublime body of work so far; the construction at Real Sociedad B, leading them back to the Segunda Division for the first time since 1961-62 and then quickly transforming Bayer Leverkusen into a tactically supreme unbeaten machine.

Only Pep Guardiola's Bayern Munich have ever set a better pace atop the Bundesliga. Leverkusen have not been beaten in 32 matches across all competitions, are in the German Cup semi-finals, and the last 16 of the Europa League. They are on a special run and are primed to make history this season.

Leverkusen play with panache and intelligence; lionising possession but also shifting to control the game without the ball as they showcased in a 3-0 masterclass against Bayern.

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Liverpool's Jurgen Klopp hailed potential successor Xabi Alonso as a 'standout' manager after his incredible season so far with Bayer Leverkusen

There have been attempts to suggest Alonso's approach jars with the more direct and transitional qualities of Liverpool's squad. While Bayer do employ a more patient build-up that is comparable to Manchester City, his Real Sociedad B were much less geared to short passing. Alonso has illustrated his adaptability already between those clubs, but also against different opponents.

He already feels like a Liverpool manager, and that's without factoring in his understanding of, and bond with the club developed during five seasons of setting the tempo in their midfield.

Alonso fits the dynamic of an exciting, young team heaving with potential that will need some nips, tucks and to create a new story.

There are complexities; he is still early into his Bayer project and ideally would have mapped a longer period of construction with them. Alonso's focus, rightly, is on crowing a fantastic season with top honours.

The club don't want to lose him, but know he will have his pick of options - Real Madrid and Bayern Munich will soon be knocking too - and can decide his timing.

Liverpool would not want to do anything to disrupt Alonso's current work. He is worth the patience though, and doing whatever is necessary to get.

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