Amorim reveals impact West Ham dash had on Sporting players following Porto draw

Sporting CP manager and one-time Liverpool target Ruben Amorim has spoken about the impact his ill-advised trip to London last week had on his players following his side’s 2-2 draw against Porto in the Liga Portugal on Sunday night. 

The Lions battled from two goals down to rescue a late draw at the Estadio do Dragao with reported Premier League transfer target Viktor Gyokers scoring twice in the last four minutes to preserve a point. 

Sporting can now become champions with a win against Portimonense on Saturday evening, guaranteeing a second Primeira Liga crown for Amorim since 2021. 

The club’s preparations for Porto were severely impacted by Amorim’s decision to travel by private plane to the British capital last Monday in order to discuss terms over becoming West Ham manager. 

Amorim, 39, had been among the candidates to become Liverpool’s successor to Jurgen Klopp but following the whirlwind trip the Reds quickly circulated that Arne Slot would be the chosen one

The Portuguese fronted up in his pre-match press conference, apologising to everyone connected with Sporting for the timing of his trip, and could now well stay with the Lisbon giants beyond the current campaign. 

Sporting tied Amorim down to a new contract back in 2022 with his current terms expiring in 2026 and any interested overseas club will have to part with around €15 million to sign him. 

Following the game against Porto, where Sporting made a disastrous start, the issue of Amorim’s London trip was put to the manager. 

He was asked by the assembled Portuguese media whether his decision to fly to meet West Ham delegates had an impact on his players and whether they had been distracted by talk over his future. 

“Nothing like that, I think it affected me more,” he replied according to O Jogo. “But we have to move on. The players didn't feel it, they may have felt it in me. We didn’t play our best game, but we ended up drawing.”

Liverpool's Sporting transfer targets

Liverpool have been reported to have Gyokeres and Sporting winger Marcus Edwards on their list of transfer targets this summer. 

Gyokeres has been in sensational form since his move from Coventry City last summer and has a buyout clause of €100m. 

Edwards, meanwhile, endured a game to forget, being shown a straight red card late in the piece for his part in a clash with a Porto adversary. 

The Englishman has not quite been the force this season that he was last season and could be available for around £30m, putting Liverpool and other interested parties on alert

Goncalo Inacio and Ousmane Diomande, two centre backs, are also reported to be of interest to the Reds.

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