Premier League • England

Next Liverpool manager: 12 emerging candidates to replace Klopp after Alonso snub

Roberto De Zerbi, Ruben Amorim and Julian Nagelsmann

Ruben Amorim is the main focus for Liverpool now but there are other outside candidates

Liverpool can forget about appointing Xabi Alonso as their next manager after he committed to Bayer Leverkusen, which has led to links with a plethora of other candidates to replace Jurgen Klopp.

Klopp will be stepping down as Liverpool manager in the summer and many thought former Reds midfielder Alonso would be the favourite to succeed him. However, Bundesliga leaders Bayer Leverkusen can now breathe a sigh of relief that they will be keeping their manager.

Liverpool’s attention will have to turn elsewhere and FSG CEO Michael Edwards and Reds sporting director Richard Hughes will be wasting no time in identifying other candidates to take over from the legendary Klopp.

Here are the main managers to have been linked with Liverpool since Alonso announced his decision on Friday.

Ruben Amorim

The new favourite for the role is Sporting CP boss Ruben Amorim. The 39-year-old has been in charge of the Lisbon outfit since 2020 and is aiming to win a second Primeira Liga title this season.

There is a release clause in his contract with Sporting that would allow Liverpool to acquire him by paying around £12.8m.

Asked about Liverpool’s interest in his services by Sport TV, Amorim has replied: “Right now, I’m focused on Sporting. I’m very proud to be Sporting’s coach.

“We’re focused on winning titles. You’ll see in the end. I have a contract and I’m very happy here.”

Nevertheless, reports indicate Liverpool want to approach Amorim at the end of the season.

READ MOREThe frightening XI Liverpool could select if Ruben Amorim takes charge in the Anfield dugout

Roberto De Zerbi

Liverpool could alternatively find their solution a little closer to home. Plan B behind Amorim now seems to be Brighton’s Roberto De Zerbi.

With the added benefit of having existing Premier League experience, De Zerbi would also be available for a similar fee.

He led Brighton into Europe for the first time in their history last season after carrying on the good work of Graham Potter before him.

In February, Brighton CEO Paul Barber told talkSPORT: “We expect our best people, whether they’re coaches, players or staff, to come to the notice of others.

“It is a compliment, it can be frustrating as well for us obviously, but we plan for these eventualities.

“I’m hoping Roberto is here for a long time. He’s happy here, he’s doing a great job here, the fans love him, the players love him even more and we hope he stays for a long time.”

Julian Nagelsmann

While Alonso is not ready to leave Germany yet, an alternative for Liverpool could come from that country.

Julian Nagelsmann is in charge of the Germany national team, but that will only be the case until the end of Euro 2024 as things stand.

At club level, he has previous experience in charge of clubs like RB Leipzig and Bayern Munich. Remarkably, he is still only 36 years old.

Like Amorim, Nagelsmann has background data that impresses Liverpool, according to Give Me Sport, but he is still seen as more of an outside candidate for the post.

Links with Liverpool and Nagelsmann have just resurfaced, though, with Portuguese source Jornal De Noticias naming him as an alternative to Amorim.

Ange Postecoglou

Ange Postecoglou Tottenham

Ange Postecoglou continues to be linked with the Liverpool job

Ange Postecoglou has impressed during his first spell in the Premier League this season, despite being regarded as something of a late bloomer.

The former Celtic boss is two years older than Klopp at 58, but looks like someone capable of putting the foundations in place for long-term stability at a club.

When asked about links with Liverpool in February, Postecoglou said: “I may be on a shortlist, I don’t think I want to say anything about that because I don’t think that’s ever going to enter my brain space for what are my priorities in life and profession right now.”

With the Australian pledging his commitment to Tottenham, he looks unlikely to take the Liverpool job, but Jornal De Noticias has also kept him in the frame.

Unai Emery

Another candidate already within the Premier League to have been linked with Liverpool by the Portuguese media is Aston Villa’s Unai Emery.

The former Arsenal boss took Villa into Europe for the current season and has previously won the Europa League several times with Sevilla, even at Liverpool’s expense once.

There aren’t many details about Liverpool’s admiration of Emery yet, but he has been included in some lists of potential Klopp successors.

Thomas Frank

Brentford are another Premier League club who may be fearing Liverpool prising away their manager, Thomas Frank.

Some Liverpool figures see similarities between the Dane and Klopp, according to The Athletic.

Frank has been with Brentford since 2018, taking them from the Championship to the Premier League and even finishing in the top half last season.

Franck Haise

At first, Franck Haise was an unfamiliar name for many when he began to be linked with Liverpool, but the Lens boss keeps popping up in connection with the Reds.

He very nearly took Lens to the Ligue 1 title last season until they missed out to serial winners PSG by one point. This season, he has managed them in the Champions League.

For context, Lens were newcomers from Ligue 2 when he took them over.

Haise, 52, has been mentioned by The Athletic as someone the data could lead Liverpool to, but not necessarily someone they will stick with on a final shortlist.

The Times has also put him in the frame for the Anfield vacancy.

Roger Schmidt

Benfica boss Roger Schmidt has also been linked with Liverpool by The Times and other sources such as the Liverpool Echo.

The 57-year-old German is well travelled, having managed clubs like Red Bull Salzburg in Austria, Bayer Leverkusen in his homeland, Beijing Guoan in China and PSV in the Netherlands.

Since the start of last season he has been in Portugal with Benfica and he won the league at the first time of asking, as his side finished two points clear of Porto (and a whole 13 above Amorim’s Sporting down in fourth).

This season, Benfica and Sporting are the main challengers for the Portuguese crown.

Roger Schmidt's Benfica are second in the table

Simone Inzaghi

De Zerbi is not the only Italian tactician who may have caught Liverpool’s attention. In February, Tuttosport suggested Simone Inzaghi – a Champions League runner up with Inter last season and almost certainly on course to be a Scudetto winner this season – was under consideration.

Filippo Inzaghi’s younger brother has been one of Serie A’s standout tacticians across spells with Lazio and Inter, winning the Coppa Italia and Supercoppa Italiana with both clubs.

In March, though, La Gazzetta Dello Sport said he would reject any offers to leave Inter, where he has openly confessed he is happy.

His name has been brought back into the Liverpool equation since Alonso’s announcement, though, including from The Athletic.

Thiago Motta

Another of Serie A’s eye-catching managers this season has been former PSG midfielder Thiago Motta, who has Bologna in contention for Champions League qualification.

TEAMtalk was told recently that Manchester United are aware of him, but The Athletic has now revealed he has also been discussed by Liverpool.

Things don’t seem to have gone any further than that as things stand, but the 41-year-old is absolutely someone to keep an eye on.

Paulo Fonseca

Former Shakhtar and Roma boss Paulo Fonseca is approaching the end of his contract with Lille, which might make him available in the summer.

The Athletic has hinted that data could lead Liverpool to the Portuguese coach, confirming in a recent update to previous information that he is highly thought of.

Fonseca was previously under consideration to come to the Premier League with Tottenham in 2021.

Thomas Tuchel

Finally (for now at least), there is the prospect of Thomas Tuchel succeeding Klopp at a third different club.

It already happened at Mainz and then Borussia Dortmund, but Tuchel is now preparing for his next job after deciding to leave Bayern Munich at the end of the season.

Coincidentally, Bayern were also considering Alonso but are having to widen their own focus.

As for Tuchel, various outlets keep mentioning him at a distance as someone Liverpool could consider after his previous foray into the Premier League with Chelsea.

Only time will tell who ends up with the job.

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