Premier League • England

Next Liverpool manager: Edwards ‘used Amorim as smokescreen’ with Dutch coach bursting into contention

Michael Edwards is reportedly looking into a move for Feyenoord's Arne Slot as Liverpool manager

Michael Edwards is reportedly looking into a move for Feyenoord's Arne Slot as Liverpool manager

The next Liverpool manager is likely to be a surprise choice, according to a bold new report, which has now revealed that Ruben Amorim was never really a serious contender to take the Anfield job amid claims he is closing on a move to West Ham.

The Merseysiders are preparing to say goodbye to Jurgen Klopp at the end of the season and still hope to end his trophy-filled reign with another piece of silverware: the Premier League title. On that front, Liverpool have five games left to overhaul Arsenal and keep their noses ahead of Manchester City, though Pep Guardiola’s three-time defending champions do have a game in hand.

Whatever the end of season brings, saying farewell to Klopp as he retreats into the Majorcan sunset (where he has a luxury villa) will cut the club deeply.

Which is why Liverpool – led by new CEO of football Michael Edwards – are taking their time to ensure they land upon the best possible successor.

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For several weeks after Klopp’s announcement, Xabi Alonso was considered favourite. However, with his Bayer Leverkusen side incredibly unbeaten all season and having just won the first Bundesliga title in their history, the Spaniard has announced his intentions to stay loyal to the German outfit.

Option number two was widely considered to be Amorim, though the Sporting Lisbon coach has furiously gone out of his way to deny both talks and an agreement with the Reds has taken place.

Now a major twist in the saga has seen West Ham firmly enter the mix to appoint the 39-year-old Portuguese, having held talks with him in London on Monday.

Fabrizio Romano drops Amorim to West Ham update

As a result, the Hammers are the strong favourites to land upon the Sporting CP coach as a successor to David Moyes, with the Scot himself out of contract at the season’s end.

News of West Ham’s interest in Amorin was revealed by David Ornstein and confirmed shortly afterwards by TEAMtalk sources, who quickly revealed the Reds admiration for another option in Thomas Frank.

Now the respected Fabrizio Romano has dropped a Tuesday morning update on the chances of the east London side succeeding in their quest to appoint the 39-year-old.

Taking to X, formerly Twitter, Romano posted: “Ruben Amorim returned to Portugal after meeting West Ham board in London on Monday.

“West Ham presented their project and will insist for Amorim; nothing done yet, while discussions with Liverpool are on stand-by. Amorim will discuss his future steps with his agents.”

However, by widespread accounts, the Hammers are very much favourites to land on Amorim and could announce his appointment as boss by the end of the season in a move which would be seen as both ambitious and equally surprising.

Liverpool do reportedly want to still meet with Amorim for talks this month, though it seems the Reds have very much fallen behind in the race and a new report has also played down their actual interest in the Portuguese anyway.

Next Liverpool manager: Arne Slot enters the running

Referring to those discussions, the Daily Express claims Liverpool plan to interview a number of candidates over the next 10 days or so before reaching their final decision.

And unlike the last time when the option of the outstanding Klopp presented itself as an immediate option, Liverpool are taking a far more methodical process this time around as they look to ensure their new era is not as painfully felt as some observers expect.

And according to the report, Edwards was never really that serious about landing Amorim, with the Reds reportedly ‘using him as a smokescreen’ to land their  top choice; now claimed to be Feyenoord boss Arne Slot.

The Dutchman’s name will be a familiar one to English audiences. He was first targeted by Leeds upon the dismissal of Jesse Marsch last February, before then coming close to landing the Tottenham job over the summer.

On both occasions, Slot decided against the move, in the first instance deciding to stay loyal as the Rotterdam side closed in on Eredivisie glory and deciding to then reject Spurs in favour of overseeing their Champions League campaign and title defence.

However, reports in the Netherlands have claimed he is now widely expected to leave at the season’s end, with Barcelona recently touted as a potential destination.

But the Express now suggests Slot is a contender for the upcoming Reds vacancy, claiming he would “jump at the chance” to boss the Reds.

It’s reported that Edwards is also well aware of his credentials, and will have been impressed by Slot’s continued success at Feyenoord, whom he led to Dutch Cup success on Sunday with his side beating NEC Nijmegen 1-0 in the final.

Whether Edwards decides to make the move for Slot, though what does appear clear is that the race to become the next Liverpool boss is very much a wide open one.

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