Premier League • England

Next Liverpool manager: Five player Ruben Amorim wishlist revealed as talks ‘reach next stage’

Ruben Amorim is the top contender to replace Jurgen Klopp as Liverpool manager

Ruben Amorim is the top contender to replace Jurgen Klopp as Liverpool manager

Prospective new Liverpool manager Ruben Amorim has reportedly handed FSG a five-player wishlist of potential attacking stars he would like the Reds to sign after a journalist claimed talks over his appointment were set to crank up a notch.

The Merseysiders are now entering the final month of the Jurgen Klopp era after it was announced in January that he would be stepping down at the end of the season. His departure will leave the Reds, though, with a gaping hole to fill with the German regarded as one of the best coaches in the modern era and one of the most successful ever to have taken charge at Anfield.

Currently with seven major trophies to his name, Liverpool will hope to add at least one more piece of silverware to their haul, though they will need another miracle comeback to salvage their Europa League hopes against Atalanta on Thursday night, while also hoping for a slip-up from serial winners Manchester City in the Premier League title race.

Behind the scenes, the club – led by returning Michael Edwards in his glitzy new CEO of football role – is working overtime at securing Liverpool the best possible successor to Klopp; a quest that has already suffered one knockback from top candidate in Xabi Alonso.

However, with Amorim now firmly fixed in Edwards’ gaze, the Reds are ready to step up their quest to land the talented 39-year-old coach as Klopp’s successor and inspite of a wave of negative press around their chances recently.

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Much of the denials over Amorim’s chances of a move to Anfield have come from the man himself.

Next Liverpool manager: Ruben Amorim talks reach next level

To that end, the Sporting CP coach going overboard in his insistence of late that he is fully focused on his role with the Portuguese giants.

Issuing two denials about a move to Merseyside over the last week, Amorim has stated: “I didn’t say anything to the players [about the Liverpool speculation].

“When it was mentioned that I had an agreement with Liverpool, I felt the need to talk, but I left that part for the press conference. I don’t get anything from the players, they just ask about days off!”

While last week, he had commented: “I’ll say it again: I’m Sporting’s coach.

“There was no interview with any club, no agreement with any club. I am focused, as always, on defending my club.”

However, despite those denials, sources have told TEAMtalk that Liverpool remain confident of landing their man and, while no agreement has yet been reached, they have let it be known to his representatives that a three-year deal will be on the table at Anfield this summer.

Now journalist Dean Jones has told Givemesport that those talks are ready to step up a notch with Edwards taking his mission to appoint Amorim to the next phase.

“I do think there is confidence in finding an agreement over making Amorim their manager, but there has always been an acceptance that it would not be sorted out fast,” Jones said.

“As far as I am aware, nothing has gone wrong with early contacts and this is a case of sorting details around him becoming the next manager.

“The fact he is keen on moving to Liverpool as his next step is key and, while there is no actual agreement yet reached, this will soon move on to the next stage of talks when Liverpool’s contact with Sporting becomes active.”

Amorim wants Liverpool to sign new attacker with five names touted

According to the Daily Express, Amorim is keen to hand Edwards a list of five would-be attacking targets he would like the club to sign this summer to increase the Reds’ firepower after the side drew a blank in front of goal in their last two outings.

And with doubts remaining over the future of Mo Salah – Wednesday’s Euro Paper Talk suggesting a surprise new West Ham star as his replacement – it’s claimed Amorim is to make the insistence of a new forward one of his top priorities this summer.

Per their report, top of their list is likely to be Sporting Lisbon’s deadly striker Viktor Gyokeres, who has scored 36 times in 43 appearances this season and comes with a hefty £85m (€100m) release clause.

Arsenal and Chelsea have also been linked with the Sweden international, who only moved to the Portuguese capital last summer from Championship outfit Coventry City.

However, the Reds do have a number of other options under consideration with wingers Nico Williams of Athletic Bilbao and Wolves’ Pedro Neto also on their radar.

Williams has a €50m (£43m) exit clause in his deal with the LaLiga outfit, while Portuguese star Neto would cost an estimated £50m to £60m.

It’s also claimed Liverpool remain keen on a move for Bayer Leverkusen’s Florian Wirtz, who has struck 17 goals this season from a No 10 role. However, TEAMtalk understands the 20-year-old is edging towards staying where he is in light of Alonso’s recent statement of loyalty too.

A fifth and final option for the Reds, though, is Crystal Palace star Michael Olise, whom impressed against them when playing for Crystal Palace on Sunday, though does have a troubled record with injuries this season.

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