Premier League • England

Next Liverpool manager: Another contender rejects Reds, as big issue new favourite will face emerges

Inter Milan manager Simone Inzaghi and Sporting CP manager Ruben Amorim

Inter Milan manager Simone Inzaghi and Sporting CP manager Ruben Amorim

A second high profile candidate linked with replacing Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool will not be on the move, while Reds great Steve McManaman has detailed the biggest issues the new favoured candidate will face at Anfield.

A new era will dawn on Merseyside this summer when Jurgen Klopp departs. The legendary German will take a sabbatical before making a decision on his next step in management. Klopp has already confirmed he’ll never manage another club in England aside from Liverpool out of loyalty and respect to the Reds.

But of more pressing concern to the Anfield faithful is who’ll take Klopp’s seat in the dugout.

Xabi Alonso quickly emerged as a primary candidate to do just that once news of Klopp’s exit broke. TEAMtalk learned the Reds were prepared to offer their former midfielder a three-year deal.

However, Alonso has elected to stay with Bayer Leverkusen for at least one more year. Alonso recently guided Leverkusen to their first ever Bundesliga title and they may yet add the DFB Pokal and Europa League to their trophy haul too.

With Alonso unavailable, Liverpool have explored alternatives and among the outsiders linked with replacing Klopp is Inter Milan boss, Simone Inzaghi. The Athletic were among those to report Inzaghi was on Liverpool’s radar.

Inzaghi guided Inter to the Champions League final last season and the Nerazzurri are on the cusp of winning Serie A. Inter hold a mammoth 14-point advantage over nearest challenger AC Milan with just six games remaining.

However, according to Inter chairman Steven Zhang, Inzaghi will not be heading to Anfield.

In quotes carried by Fabrizio Romano, Zhang stated: “There’s no doubt at all, we will continue together.

“He’s an excellent coach. Inzaghi will stay as key part of our project.”

With Alonso and Inzaghi staying put, Liverpool’s interest in new No 1 candidate, Ruben Amorim, is set to intensify.

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McManaman voices Amorim concerns

The 39-year-old is expected to be given the greenlight to leave Lisbon this summer and his exit clause at Sporting contains three tiers. The one relevant to Liverpool is worth just €10m/£8.6m.

Amorim is among the most highly-regarded young managers in the game and has already won five major honours during his stints at Braga and Sporting.

What’s more, he’s worked his miracles at Sporting despite often having his best players sold by the club, such as Pedro Porro, Nuno Mendes, Manuel Ugarte, Joao Palhinha and Matheus Nunes.

Despite the raft of high profile exits, Amorim has his Sporting side on the cusp of winning a domestic double in Portugal this term.

Amorim ticks many boxes for new Liverpool chiefs Michael Edwards and Richard Hughes. But according to former winger Steve McManaman, the biggest issue he’ll face is invoking the same type of spirit and connection the ultra-charismatic Klopp has during his time in Liverpool.

“He’s got a very good reputation in Portugal,” began McManaman in an interview with the Mirror.

“He delivered the title to Sporting and they’re fighting for it again this year. Sporting is a huge club, but Liverpool are a different level.

“We all know it’s going to be a difficult job for whoever comes in but the number-crunchers, the data specialists, they’ll be doing their homework behind the scenes.”

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McManaman added: “Liverpool are in a really great place. I think practically everybody other than Trent [Alexander-Arnold] and Virgil [van Dijk] are locked down.

“I don’t necessarily think the hard part will be the team; that’s going to be around for a while. It’s everything else: [replacing] the charisma of Jurgen, his sense of humour, how he got the people of Liverpool, that’s going to be the hard job.

“I know Ruben speaks very good English, which is a great help straight away. But everything else, the whole package to emulate Jurgen, is very difficult for anyone I think.”

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