Premier League • England

Next Liverpool manager: Ruben Amorim expected to succeed Jurgen Klopp after rival suitor drop huge clue

Sporting CP manager Ruben Amorim

Barcelona have dropped a huge clue on where Ruben Amorim's future lays

All the signs are beginning to point towards Sporting CP’s Ruben Amorim replacing Jurgen Klopp as Liverpool manager, and the latest clue has come by way of Barcelona.

Klopp will bring his storied nine-year stint with Liverpool to a close this summer. The legendary German was arguably the No 1 factor in re-establishing the Reds as a force in both domestic and European football. However, with Klopp seeking a mental break from football and intending to take a sabbatical, Liverpool must reluctantly move on.

Their hunt for a successor initially took them to Germany. Bayer Leverkusen are on the cusp of lifting their first ever Bundesliga title and manager Xabi Alonso is the heart and soul of everything they do.

However, Alonso publicly reaffirmed his loyalty to Leverkusen one week ago. The 42-year-old will stay with his current club for at least one more season, a development that has forced Liverpool and fellow suitor Bayern Munich to look elsewhere.

The Times’ Paul Joyce reported Sporting CP’s Ruben Amorim and Roberto De Zerbi of Brighton were on Liverpool’s radar.

However, Fabrizio Romano later named Amorim as the clear favourite, while David Ornstein declared it’s “incredibly unlikely” Liverpool move for De Zerbi.

Amorim thus appears to be front and centre in Liverpool’s mind and Portuguese outlet Correio da Manha claimed the 39-year-old is open to replacing Klopp this summer.

Amorim on course to meet final Sporting wish

Amorim hopes to go out with a bang in Lisbon by securing a league and cup double.

Sporting currently sit one point clear of Benfica at the summit of the Primeira Liga and advanced to the final of the Taca de Portugal (Portuguese FA Cup) on Wednesday night.

Liverpool can take Sporting out of the equation in any negotiations by activating Amorim’s release clause.

Sources have differed on the true amount that must be paid, though most agree the magic number is €20m/£17.1m.

Now, Spanish outlet Sport have weighed in on Amorim’s future and their update makes positive reading for Liverpool.

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Barcelona drop Amorim interest for three reasons

It’s revealed Barcelona – who themselves are seeking a new manager to replace the outbound Xavi – have also sized Amorim up.

Sporting director Deco had looked favourably on his fellow Portuguese thanks in large part to his style of play at Sporting mirroring the Barcelona way.

However, Sport state Barcelona have pulled the plug on attempting to hire Amorim for three specific reasons.

The first of those is Barcelona firmly believe Amorim is heading to Liverpool and as such, they see no reason to chase a lost cause.

The second reason they’ve given up on the idea of appointing Amorim relates to the size of his release clause.

Barca’s financial woes have been well documented and with a meagre summer budget to work with, financing Amorim’s €20m release clause will be difficult.

The final reason may come as a slight concern to Liverpool, with Sport claiming Barcelona have doubts over Amorim’s level of experience.

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Is Amorim a risk for Liverpool?

At just 39 years of age, Amorim is extremely young for a top class manager. Furthermore, it’s highlighted he’s never managed outside of his home country of Portugal.

While those may well be valid points to raise, it’s important to note Alonso has three years fewer experience in senior management despite being three years older at 42.

Furthermore, Klopp had never managed outside of Germany prior to joining Liverpool, though admittedly did have nearly 15 years of managerial experience when he made the move in 2015.

A recent report from the BBC also drew attention to the fact Amorim has overcome adversity in his senior managerial career thus far, unlike Alonso who has only experienced success.

Amorim guided Sporting to their first Primeira Liga title in 19 years in the 2020/21 campaign. Sporting finished second the year after and to the surprise of many, dropped to fourth last season.

Given the Portuguese top flight is generally dominated by the ‘big three’ (Sporting, FC Porto, Benfica), a fourth-placed finish behind Braga rang alarm bells.

However, despite losing many of his best players to the Premier League in recent seasons such as Pedro Porro, Matheus Nunes and Joao Palhinha, Amorim has rebounded and guided Sporting back to the top of the table with a fresh set of stars.

Furthermore, major names Nuno Mendes and Manuel Ugarte were both sold to PSG in the last two summers, making Amorim’s exploits this season all the more impressive.

If Liverpool do hire Amorim as their Klopp successor, they’ll know they’ll have a manager who can still thrive when the going gets tough.

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