Xabi Alonso has revealed he turned down the opportunity to return to the Premier League in order to protect his Liverpool legacy, reports the Daily Mail.
The Spaniard is set to complete a £5million move to Bayern Munich following a successful five year stay at Real Madrid.
Before completing the switch to Germany, Alonso was heavily linked with moves to both Chelsea and Manchester United, but the 32-year-old insists that despite offers to return to England, he wanted to preserve his memories with Liverpool.
He said: ‘I had five great years at Liverpool and I would rather just keep that memory as it is. The interest came in from Bayern in the last two weeks and it’s the right decision.
‘At the end of last season I knew that winning the Champions League would usher in a new era for the club and I need to start a new era too. I detected that this might be the moment when it was right to leave. We fought hard to win the club’s tenth European Cup after losing three semi-finals, it was a weight lifted and a good time to move on.’
Some Madrid fans have expressed their unhappiness at Alonso’s decision to join up with former Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola, but when asked about the former rivalry between the Spaniard’s, Alonso said: ‘What happens on the pitch you leave on the pitch. This is a decision about football nothing else. And I think Madrid are well covered in midfield.’
Many consider this the latest step in Alonso moving on into the world of coaching, having worked with many of the top coaches in world football over the course of his career.
He said: ‘I’m going to learn a lot. I’ve been lucky to have had some great coaches. My dad was a coach too. I will learn at Bayern and that is an extra motivation for going. I’ve learned from Carlo [Ancelotti], [Jose] Mourinho, [Manuel] Pellegrini and now I’m sure I will learn more. I have spoken to Pep and he has told me what he wants from me.’
Noticeably he left out the name of Benitez as coaches he has learned from. Might be an indicator as to his relationship with Benitez in his last year at Liverpool.