Premier League • England

Next Liverpool manager: FSG make unthinkable Ruben Amorim promise as rejection fears grow and Bundesliga boss leaps into contention

Ruben Amorim of Sporting Lisbon and Borussia Dortmund coach Niko Kovac are contenders to become next Liverpool manager

Ruben Amorim and Niko Kovac are contenders to become next Liverpool manager

Liverpool have reportedly made a major vow to Ruben Amorim in a fresh effort to persuade him to become their next manager amid claims he is ready to rebuff FSG and that a Bundesliga coach has suddenly leapt into contention.

The Merseysiders are ready to bid farewell to charismatic manager Jurgen Klopp in just a matter of weeks, with his reign scheduled to end on Sunday May 19 with a home game against Wolves. Whether they can mark the occasion as Premier League champions or not now looks debatable, though, after Liverpool suffered the crushing disappointment of a home defeat to Crystal Palace on Sunday.

That 1-0 loss has seen them slip two points behind three-times reigning champions Manchester City with just six games to play and, given Pep Guardiola’s track record at this stage of the season, it would take a huge effort – together with a loss of form for City – for the Merseysiders to overhaul them now.

Liverpool’s hopes of extending Klopp’s stay by a matter of a few days in the Europa League are also hanging by the narrowest of theads after a 3-0 home defeat to Atalanta in the quarter-final first leg.

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And while the Reds do have history when it comes to inspired comebacks, performances of late have suggested this might be one game too far as Klopp and Co are concerned.

Behind the scenes, though, plans are rapidly being stepped up by FSG at appointing the best possible successor for Klopp in the Anfield dug-out.

And with Xabi Alonso already ruling himself out of contention – a story TEAMtalk broke first – much of the focus has now been turned towards Sporting Lisbon coach Amorim, who, like Alonso, is gunning for title glory this season.

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The hunt for their next boss is being led by Michael Edwards  – back at Anfield in a shiny new CEO of football role – and trusted with ensuring the Liverpool drop-off post Klopp is not too hard.

However, while Amorim has been installed as favourite – and TEAMtalk understands the 39-year-old has told the Portuguese giants he would like to leave if an agreement can be reached – the Sporting CP coach has made plenty of big statements on his future of late.

Indeed, he almost went as far as totally dismissing his chances of leaving for Liverpool just last week when stating: “To end everything around, this is the last time I talk about my future.

“There was no interview, much less an agreement [with Liverpool]. The only thing we all want here is to be champions for Sporting, and nothing will change.

“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.

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“And since I really have nothing to say: there will be no interviews or agreements with the Sporting coach. The deal is done, whether for this club or another.”

Now amid fears that Amorim could officially reject Liverpool in the same way Alonso did – stepping into Klopp’s sizeable shoes is a fearsome prospect, even for the most confident of coaches.

As a result, it’s now reported that Edwards has ‘promised’ Amorim that he will be given time to make his impact felt at Anfield and will not be judged on his performance over the first year as he settles into his new surroundings.

Liverpool linked with 52 y/o coach

And with many observers predicting a significant drop-off when Klopp departs, it’s claimed Amorim has been told that he will remain sack-proof during his first year at the helm.

However, with doubts now emerging that Amorim will accept the job, Edwards is beginning to cast his eyes on alternative options, which are believed to include Julian Nagelsmann and Roberto De Zerbi.

That said, neither of those appointments would be plain sailing either with Nagelsmann tied to the Germany national side until after the European Championships and with doubts emerging over the Brighton coach’s credentials for such a big role.

As a result, reports in Germany now claim former Bayern Munich boss Niko Kovac is emerging as a surprise option for FSG.

The 52-year-old coached the Bundesliga giants for a season over 2018/19 leading them to a league and cup double.

However, he was fired a few months into his second season, following a 5-1 defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt.

He has since taken charge of Monaco and Wolfsburg, recently leaving the latter after two years in charge.

Kovac has also had a spell in charge of the Croatia national side and is one of the most-respected and experienced names around.

As a result, it’s claimed FSG have added Kovac to their list of options to replace Klopp if a planned move for Amorim fails to get off the ground.

Kovac has a 50.62% win record from his time in the game as a manager; Amorin is currently sat on 71.31%.

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