Xabi Alonso has emphasised the importance of staying at Bayer Leverkusen to continue his managerial career.

The former Real Madrid midfielder made public his desire to stay at Bay Arena for the next years ahead despite interest from several top clubs.

Alonso has been linked with Madrid, Liverpool and Bayern Munich with the last two teams keen on acquiring his services.

However, the 42-year-old has turned down the interest and decided to continue at Leverkusen beyond this season.

“I had a good meeting with Bayer Leverkusen and I informed them that I will stay and continue at the club,” Alonso said at a press conference.

“After lot of talks about my future, I used the break to reflect and make my decision.”

“This is the place to be for me”.

Leverkusen are on a 36-game unbeaten run across all competitions as they chase a first Bundesliga title since the inception of the club.

They command a 10-point lead at the top of the table with just eight games to go until the end of the season.

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