Liverpool: Amorim would have been Klopp’s successor but one thing changed that ‘at the last minute’

Joe Williams
Liverpool managerial target Ruben Amorim
Former Liverpool managerial target Ruben Amorim.

Ruben Amorim would have been succeeding Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool but Sporting Lisbon’s president double his demands at the last minute, according to Sport Bild journalist Christian Falk.

Bayer Leverkusen boss Xabi Alonso was the initial frontrunner to replace Klopp after the German announced that he will be leaving Anfield at the end of the season to take a break from football.

But Alonso confirmed earlier this year that he will be staying at the Bundesliga champions next season, leading speculation to focus on interest from Liverpool in Sporting Lisbon’s Amorim.

There were rumours of a ‘verbal agreement’ between Amorim and Liverpool as it looked like the Portuguese coach was heading to Anfield before the whole move collapsed and speculation ended.

Football Insider claimed earlier this month that the ‘real reason’ why Liverpool ‘snubbed’ Amorim is ‘they felt the 39-year-old was too wedded to his favoured 3-4-3 system’.

‘Liverpool chiefs wanted a manger who can get the best out of the current players, and believe a 3-4-3 formation does not suit the current team and the key personnel.

‘This also suggests that there will not be major squad changes at Anfield in the summer transfer window.’

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But Sport Bild journalist Falk insists he’s heard of a different reason as to why a deal for Amorim didn’t work out as he claims Liverpool pulled out after Sporting president Francisco Varandas doubled their asking price.

Falk wrote in his Caught Offside column: “Former national team coach Hansi Flick had hoped that he could return to his former club Bayern. Bayern held talks with him, but decided against it. This is bitter for Flick, who had almost secured the job as Xavi’s successor at FC Barcelona.

“That dream has been shattered as Xavi is staying on. That was also the reason why Flick had not held talks with Liverpool FC. His agents never offered him to the Reds. During this research, I found out why the transfer of Ruben Amorim (Sporting Lisbon) to Liverpool FC fell through in the end.

“Everything had already been negotiated and the contracts were ready to be signed. Sporting Lisbon would have received a transfer fee of €10m, as had been agreed. However, the president of Sporting Lisbon, Francisco Varandas, is said to have changed his mind at the last minute.

“Suddenly, the president demanded €20m and spontaneously doubled the price. Liverpool did not want to play the game. That was bitter for Amorim, who would have loved to become Jürgen Klopp’s successor.”

Feyenoord boss Arne Slot is now expected to take over from Klopp in the summer with widespread reports confirming the official announcement is now only a matter of time away.

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