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Marseille Missed out on Xabi Alonso: Longoria reveals failed approach

Marseille president Pablo Longoria has revealed that the club tried to sign Xabi Alonso as manager in 2022, before he eventually joined Bayer Leverkusen.

The Spanish coach was approached by Longoria following the departure of Jorge Sampaoli, but he turned down the offer. Alonso was reportedly looking to wait for the right opportunity, and he eventually joined Leverkusen in December 2022.

In an interview with So Foot, Longoria spoke about Alonso’s rejection:

“It was after Jorge (Sampaoli). So I went to see him. He told me no with elegance… The same he had when he played football, a 40-meter cross in the feet. He was telling me no, I should have been angry, but I almost wanted to thank him. (Laughs.) You see that his brain is going at another speed. He knew exactly the three or four clubs he wanted to coach and was ready to wait for them.”

Alonso has since transformed Leverkusen into one of the best teams in Europe. They are currently top of the Bundesliga and have been linked with moves for several high-profile players.

Longoria’s admission that Marseille missed out on Alonso is a major blow for the club. The Spaniard is a highly-rated coach with a proven track record, and he could have been the man to lead Marseille to long-term success.

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