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Liverpool 'make Ruben Amorim top alternative to Xabi Alonso'

Liverpool 'make Ruben Amorim top alternative to Xabi Alonso'
© Reuters
Liverpool reportedly earmark Sporting Lisbon boss Ruben Amorim as their top alternative to Bayer Leverkusen manager Xabi Alonso.

Liverpool have reportedly made Sporting Lisbon head coach Ruben Amorim their number two choice to replace Jurgen Klopp if they fail to land Xabi Alonso.

Ever since Klopp left the footballing world in a state of disbelief by announcing his imminent departure in January, Alonso has been regarded as the heir to the Anfield throne.

The former Liverpool midfielder - part of their 2004-05 Champions League-winning squad - has worked wonders with Bayer Leverkusen, who are eight points clear of Bayern Munich at the top of the Bundesliga table.

Alonso's contract expires in 2026, and while Leverkusen are still hopeful that the Spaniard will continue at the BayArena, there is a consensus that he will be poached by one of a few European heavyweights this summer.

As well as Liverpool, Bayern Munich and Barcelona are also thought to be after Alonso's services, as the reigning German and Spanish champions will part ways with Thomas Tuchel and Xavi respectively this summer.

Bayer Leverkusen coach Xabi Alonso before the match on January 13, 2024© Reuters

In addition, Real Madrid could throw their hat into the ring if Carlo Ancelotti vacates his post in the summer, and Alonso possesses playing connections with Los Blancos and Bayern as well as Liverpool.

The Reds are running the rule over alternative candidates in case their pursuit of Alonso proves futile, and according to The Independent, Amorim is their top pick to arrive in lieu of the Leverkusen boss.

The 39-year-old's Sporting outfit were crowned Primeira Liga champions in 2021, ending Porto and Benfica's 19-year reign of dominance in the Portuguese football scene, while also leading his team to three Taca da Liga crowns and a Portuguese Super Cup.

The 2023-24 Primeira Liga title is also Sporting's to lose, as they sit second in the table behind Benfica, two points worse off than the reigning champions but with a game in hand.

Amorim has masterminded 28 wins from 37 matches across all tournaments in the current campaign, including a 4-2 aggregate success over BSC Young Boys in the Europa League playoffs to set up a tie with Atalanta BC in the last 16.

Sporting Lisbon coach Ruben Amorim on December 14, 2023© Reuters

While Amorim is also under contract with his current club until 2026, he is believed to possess a €20m (£17.1m) release clause and is also attracting glances from top European clubs, but apparently not to the same extent as Alonso.

Before prioritising their search for a new head coach, Liverpool are working to hire their next sporting director, having parted ways with the short-serving Jorg Schmadtke at the end of the January transfer window.

The Reds supposedly want to appoint a new transfer guru by the end of March and are vetting several candidates, including Nice's Florent Ghisolfi and former AC Milan chief Frederic Massara.

Klopp will end his last season at Liverpool with at least one trophy to his name, as the Reds won a record-extending 10th EFL Cup crown thanks to a dramatic 1-0 win over Chelsea after extra time in Sunday's final.

The quadruple-chasing Reds now turn their attention back to the FA Cup, where they will face Southampton at Anfield in Wednesday's fifth-round tie.

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