Xabi Alonso alternative Amorim speaks out on Liverpool links that refuse to go away

Liverpool are seeking a replacement for Jurgen Klopp as the manager prepares to leave the club at the end of the season. 

The German cited fatigue as the chief reason behind his decision to step down after nine years in the Anfield hot seat and talk immediately turned to who would replace him. 

Ex-Liverpool midfielder Xabi Alonso was installed as the early frontrunner and the Bayer Leverkusen manager is believed to favour a return to the club he represented as a player between 2004 and 2009. 

His Leverkusen side are runaway Bundesliga leaders, eight points clear of Bayern Munich, and into the latter stages of the DFB Pokal and Europa League too. 

However, club bosses remain optimistic that they will keep the 42-year-old at the club for the long term, with the Spanish World Cup winner under contract until 2026. 

The Reds are doing their due diligence and a shortlist of alternatives to Alonso is taking shape. 

Premier League managers like Ange Postecoglou, Unai Emery and Roberto De Zerbi are believed to be under consideration as is Germany national team boss Julian Nagelsmann. 

Over in Portugal, meanwhile, there are two managers believed to fit the bill - Benfica’s Roger Schmidt, the defending Portuguese league champion and Lisbon rival, Ruben Amorim, who is in charge of Sporting. 

Amorim not going to dwell on Sporting future

The 39-year-old Amorim led Sporting to the league title in 2021, ending a 19-year wait, and has earned the plaudits for blooding young players. 

The likes of Pedro Porro, Matheus Nunes and Manuel Ugarte earned big-money transfers having been developed by Amorim and a new crop of Sporting talents are leading the side on a Primeira Liga title charge this term. 

Goncalo Inacio, Ousmane Diomande and Viktor Gyokeres have been extensively watched this season by all of Europe’s top clubs and Sporting are currently just behind Benfica in the race for the title. 

They had a slight wobble on Sunday, drawing 3-3 with Rio Ave, and before the game Amorim was asked about Liverpool links which refuse to subside.

"I'm not going to dwell on my future, I've already said what I had to say,” the former Portugal international said

"Every time I talk about it the topic comes up again. I just want to beat Rio Ave and then we'll see."

While Alonso is the clear favourite among fans and pundits to succeed Klopp, Amorim could yet emerge as an intriguing alternative. 

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