Ruben Amorim tantalises Liverpool fans with answer to question over future

Ruben Amorim's Sporting CP moved a step closer to silverware on Tuesday night, drawing 2-2 with Benfica to advance to the Taça de Portugal final 4-3 on aggregate.

Goals from Morten Hjulmand and Paulinho were enough for Sporting to go through to the final of Portugal's premier domestic cup competition where they will face either Porto or Vitoria SC at the end of the season.

Many Liverpool fans will have been keeping a watchful eye over proceedings at the Estadio da Luz in Lisbon due to the surge in interest in Sporting manager Amorim.

The 39-year-old is now the frontrunner to succeed Jurgen Klopp as Liverpool boss at the end of the season, following Xabi Alonso's apparent decision to remain at Bayer Leverkusen.

Amorim, who could also be a target for both Bayern Munich and Barcelona, is on for his first Portuguese cup this season, while his side are also in pole position to win a second league title under his stewardship.

Sporting are a point clear at the top of the table with seven games to go and have a game in hand on nearest rivals Benfica.

Despite heavy links to multiple clubs, Amorim has largely refused to entertain questions over his future, recently stating: "The manager is clearly Sporting's manager, Sporting's manager and only Sporting's manager.

"The players know how much they want to win and I want to win titles for Sporting. They are clear that everyone is focused on winning titles."

'We'll see'

However, speaking after the semi-final victory, there were hints that Amorim's last game in charge of Sporting could be the final on 26 May.

In the post match press conference (as reported by O Jogo), he was asked: "Have you spoken to [Sporting director of football] Hugo Viana about your successor?"

To which Amorim responded: "Very focused on what happened in the game and thinking about Saturday's game. We'll see about the rest."

Rúben Amorim, Sporting manager and Liverpool target.

While hardly a direct admission of his imminent exit, that 'we'll see' is, seemingly, the first time Amorim has publicly acknowledged he could move on from Sporting this summer.

Meanwhile, reporting over how much it will take to prise the highly regarded coach from the Portuguese capital have varied.

Some reports have suggested Amorim's release clause is as £25m, while others claim it is actually much more like £13m — with the discrepancy put down to the difference between a fee for Portuguese and non-Portuguese clubs.

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