Xabi Alonso handed Bayer Leverkusen manager role after Seoane sacking

Bayer Leverkusen have sacked their coach Gerardo Seoane and replaced him with Xabi Alonso.

The Bundesliga club said on Wednesday that they had “parted ways” with the Swiss coach and appointed the 40-year-old former Spain midfielder, who will be handed a contract until June 2024.

Seoane’s last game in charge was a 2-0 defeat at Porto in the Champions League on Tuesday, days after his team were routed 4-0 at Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga. Leverkusen are second from bottom in the league with just five points from the opening eight games.

The team were also knocked out in the first round of the DFB-Pokal by the third-division team SV Elversberg. Seoane led Leverkusen to third place in the Bundesliga last season after joining from the Swiss team Young Boys in 2021.

“In Xabi Alonso we have signed a coach who, as a player, was an absolute world-class professional for many years, an intelligent strategist and very successful in three of the most demanding European leagues,” the sporting director, Simon Rolfes, said.

“Gerardo Seoane did good work for Bayer 04 over the past year and a half, especially with the excellent qualification for the Champions League. Unfortunately, we have strayed from the road to success.”

Leverkusen said they would unveil the former Liverpool, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich midfielder on Thursday.

Alonso was working as the head coach at Real Sociedad’s B team in Spain for the past three years after hanging up his boots in 2017. He left Real Sociedad at the end of last season.