Premier League • England

Next Liverpool manager: Ruben Amorim handpicks first signing as secret interview claims arise

Prospective next Liverpool boss Ruben Amorim and Sporting Lisbon defender Ousmane Diomande, who could become his first signing

Prospective next Liverpool boss Ruben Amorim and Sporting Lisbon defender Ousmane Diomande

Sporting Lisbon are likely to see a plethora of players follow Ruben Amorim in quitting the club in wake of his appointment as the next Liverpool boss with the process of landing him set to reach the next stage and with a report detailing the star he has selected as his first signing at Anfield.

The Merseysiders will bid an emotional goodbye to Jurgen Klopp in under a month’s time as arguably the most charismatic and one of the most successful managers in their history prepares to flee the nest. In just short of nine years at the Anfield helm, the German has won seven trophies and reached four major European finals in what has been a truly memorable period of their history.

And after Sunday’s 3-1 win at Fulham lifts Liverpool back up to second in the table, just behind Arsenal on goal difference, it remains to be seen if Liverpool can sign off on the Klopp era with a second Premier League title triumph of his era.

Certainly the Reds players will do their all and it seems they are now over what was described as the “stress” his impending departure was having on his squad.

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As a result, Liverpool will try to win the five remaining matches they have left under Klopp before the 54-year-old rides off into the Majorcan sunset, where he will enjoy a long rest at his luxury villa on the island.

Behind the scenes, work is furiously going on at landing Klopp’s successor in the Anfield dug-out, with CEO of football Michael Edwards soon hoping to reach a decision on the next man in charge.

Next Liverpool boss: Ruben Amorim set to hold Anfield interview

And while the Reds have already received one major knockback after Xabi Alonso decided to stay at Bayer Leverkusen, their hunt has fixed firmly on one major name in the form of Amorim.

The Sporting Lisbon coach has an equally-impressive record in the Portuguese capital, boasting a ridicuclous 70.79% win record as manager.

And while Amorim has twice come out in public to deny claims he is set to succeed Klopp as Liverpool boss, the 39-year-old is regarded as the favourite for the job.

READ MORE: ‘No chance’ Ruben Amorim claim emerges as big issues in replacing Klopp arise

However, the Reds do have other candidates in mind, with former Croatia and Bayern Munich boss Niko Kovac, as well as wily Atalanta coach Gian Piero Gasperini among those also recently touted for the job.

Nonetheless, the Liverpool chief intends to take his hunt for their next boss to the next stage, with journalist Ben Jacobs claiming Amorim is now set to be handed a secret interview by the Reds over the upcoming vacancy.

“It is normal to look at a wide array of candidates, which is why Liverpool didn’t put all of their eggs in the Xabi Alonso basket. Even now, they have not put all of their eggs towards Ruben Amorim despite it being obvious that he is going to get an interview,” Jacobs told Givemesport.

“It is obvious that he is a leading candidate, but he is not the only candidate.

“That is how Liverpool work, and it is smart because if you don’t do your full due diligence, and you’re not open to different opinions and, ultimately, candidates, you are probably not going to end up picking the right one to replace Jurgen Klopp and whoever replaces him has got big shoes to fill.”

Amorim picks first Liverpool signing – report

In order to tempt Amorim to Anfield, it is claimed Liverpool will first need to meet his sizeable exit clause – set at an estimated €10m (£8.5m) for clubs in the ‘elite’ bracket – while also handing him a sizeable transfer kitty.

TEAMtalk also understands that the offer of a three-year deal is on the table for Amorim at Liverpool should he accept the role.

In terms of that transfer warchest, it’s believed the Reds will grant Amorim significant funds to strengthen his squad, with a new centre-half and another attacker right at the front of his thinking.

The need for a new central defender – and in particular a left-sided one – is well documented, with Joel Matip set to leave Liverpool as a free agent this summer and with Virgil van Dijk not getting any younger and turning 33 over the summer.

That hunt appears to have focused on three players, in Piero Hincapie and two from Sporting Lisbon in Ousmane Diomande and Goncalo Inacio.

And with the Daily Mail now claiming that Amorim’s exit at Sporting CP is set to lead to a mass exodus of their star players, it appears the coach is intent on ensuring at least one of those, in Diomande, is to follow him to Anfield.

Indeed, it is now claimed that the Ivory Coast international is being tipped to become Amorim’s first signing as Reds boss. Handpicked by the manager himself, the 20-year-old has established himself as one of the game’s outstanding young defenders this season.

Courted by the likes of Chelsea, Newcastle and Arsenal, Liverpool would need to stump up a huge fee to tempt Sporting to sell, especially with the player protected by a giant €80m (£69m) release clause.

However, it’s thought Amorim is insistent and will tell Edwards and sporting director Richard Hughes to do all in their power to bring the defender with him to Anfield as the first signing of his era.

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