'It was a mistake' - Ruben Amorim apologises for London trip

Sporting CP coach Ruben Amorim has admitted that his actions this week in travelling to speak with West Ham United were a lapse in judgement.

Speaking publicly for the first time since Arne Slot emerged as the favourite to take the Liverpool job, Amorim, who had been the leading candidate since Bayer Leverkusen's Xabi Alonso ruled himself out of the running acknowledged that he had made a "mistake" in travelling to meet with the London side.

In a candid statement made on Saturday, Amorim, in quotes published by O Jogo, addressed the recent uproar surrounding his trip to England last Monday.

"Let's address the elephant in the room and I'll speak about it once," said the Portuguese in his pre-match press conference to preview Sunday's game against Porto.

Amorim admitted that the timing of his journey was not appropriate and extended his apologies for any inconvenience caused.

"The most important point: obviously, my trip was a mistake, the timing was completely off, it didn't seem so at the time.

"It was off, especially when I am so demanding with my players and always the first to say that individual problems cannot overshadow the team. I have removed players from the squad for much less.

"It was a failure on my part, I have to take responsibility and live with it," Amorim said.

Amorim had Sporting's permission to travel to London

That said, Amorim then explained how, despite it being a mistake, he made the trip to London with the permission of the club's board.

"The first thing to say is that the club was aware of my trip. It's important and changes the context," he said.

Then, with a hint of sarcasm, he added: "Let's talk about the cloak of secrecy surrounding the trip. I secretly parked my car outside, passed secretly by 15 people, took pictures with people, and boarded a plane.

"To take away a bit of that notion that everything was done behind the club's back, that didn't happen."

Were Amorim's West Ham talks a ploy to pressure Liverpool?

According to Portuguese journalist Bruno Andrade, Amorim's talks with West Ham were all part of a ploy aimed at pressuring Liverpool to step up their approach.

Andrade posted on X: "Ruben Amorim and his agent played the West Ham card, among other tactics, to apply pressure on Liverpool.

"In response, Liverpool swiftly shifted their focus, with reports emerging the next day that Ruben Amorim's candidacy had weakened, and Arne Slot had emerged as the new favourite."

If this was the case, clearly it backfired.

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