Premier League • England

Next Liverpool manager: Ruben Amorim in snarly reaction to Reds contract claims as FSG consider Plan C option

Ruben Amorim is favourite to become the next Liverpool manager in succession to Jurgen Klopp

Ruben Amorim is favourite to become the next Liverpool manager

The number one target to become the next Liverpool manager Ruben Amorim has furiously denied claims he has agreed a contract to move to Anfield, amid claims FSG may be forced to consider an approach for an alternative.

The Merseysiders are gearing up for the last six weeks of the Jurgen Klopp era at Anfield, with the German’s last match in charge either their final Premier League match against Wolves on Sunday May 19, or three days later in the Dublin-staged Europa League final. Tears will undoubtedly be shed when the charismatic boss waves his final goodbye to his adoring public.

With Klopp and his Liverpool players’ focus fully fixed on adding both the Premier League title and the Europa League to the Carabao Cup won earlier this season, behind the scenes the club – led by new CEO of football Michael Edwards – are sharpening their gaze on landing on the man to step into the Liverpool manager’s job from the summer.

The Reds have already been knocked back by Xabi Alonso – the initial favourite to take the job – with the Spaniard making clear his wish to remain with current employers Bayer Leverkusen through into next season.

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With TEAMtalk exclusively breaking that news first – back in February – we also reported that FSG plans for Amorim were also stepping up as a consequence.

And with the Sporting coach going public to make clear that he cannot guarantee he will still be in charge of the Lions next season, it has since been reported that Amorim has been offered a three-year deal to take charge at Anfield.

Next Liverpool manager: Amorim furiously denies Anfield agreement

Indeed, our sources informed us earlier this week that Amorim has made clear to officials at Sporting that he wishes to move to Merseyside if a deal can be agreed.

And with a number of leading sources ranging from Florian Plettenberg to Fabrizio Romano suggesting an agreement was close, Amorim has now used his latest press conference to firmly deny these reports.

With that media gathering opening with a furious round of questions about a prospective move to Liverpool, Amorim has now moved to deny such talks have taken place.

“To end everything around, this is the last time I talk about my future,” the 39-year-old said.

“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.

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“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.

“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.”

Despite Amorim’s denials, TEAMtalk understands that while no agreement has yet been made official, representatives of Amorim have held talks with Liverpool officials and there is a strong belief the 39-year-old is willing to make the move at the season’s end.

FSG may need to consider Plan C to succeed Jurgen Klopp

Liverpool hopes have also been boosted by news earlier this week that they could land Amorim away from Sporting for a fee of just €10m (£8.5m) – around half the figure initially quoted.

Even so, Amorim’s efforts to deflect attention away from the prospect of him moving to Merseyside has raised open the possibility that Liverpool may now need to consider a Plan C option to succeed Klopp from the summer.

As a result, it’s reported that the Reds have two other options in mind, with Roberto De Zerbi and Julian Nagelsmann on their radar.

However, with Nagelsmann tied up with the Germany national side until at least the conclusion of their European Championships bid, it is Italian boss De Zerbi who could find himself the major benefactor.

Indeed, the Brighton boss is rated highly by FSG and they have been doing their due dilligence on the 44-year-old as a potential option.

Having already been talked up by Graeme Souness as the ideal prospect, De Zerbi’s credentials were given a further boost earlier this week by former Reds star John Arne Riise.

The Norwegian full-back, who played for the Reds between 2001 and 2008 has told BoyleSports why he thinks the former Sassuolo coach is perfectly suited to become Klopp’s heir.

“Liverpool’s next manager depends on where the club wants to go. I love what De Zerbi has done at Brighton. He would be a good fit because he’s so focused on being who he is,” Riise said.

“He doesn’t change, he goes his own way. I would love to see him at Liverpool. It depends on what direction they want to go and also Klopp’s admiration for De Zerbi is a factor.

“Klopp, one way or another, will be giving the club some insight into how they should move forward and who they should look at and I believe De Zerbi is one of the top contenders and I’d be delighted to have him.”

De Zerbi has impressed with Brighton, having a 45.12% record at the AMEX. Amorim, meanwhile, boasts an incredible 70.70% win rate at Sporting Lisbon.

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