Liverpool: ‘Strong relationship’ with Hughes could see Wolves boss join in future amid Man Utd ‘talks

Joe Williams
Liverpool manager target Gary O'Neil
Gary O'Neil has been linked with Liverpool and Man Utd.

Respected journalist Neil Jones “wouldn’t rule out the idea” of Wolves manager Gary O’Neil managing Liverpool in the future.

The Reds are on the lookout for a new manager this summer with Jurgen Klopp announcing that he will be leaving Anfield at the end of the season as he looks to take a break from football.

Gary O’Neil, a Liverpool boss of the future?

Bayer Leverkusen boss Xabi Alonso is the current favourite with the bookmakers to take over from Klopp but Liverpool face competition from Bayern Munich for his signature.

Sporting Lisbon’s Ruben Amorim, Germany’s Julian Nagelsmann, Brighton’s Roberto De Zerbi and others have been lined up as potential alternatives to Alonso.

Wolves boss O’Neil hasn’t been mentioned as a candidate but journalist Jones, who has covered Liverpool for years, “wouldn’t rule out the idea” of the former Portsmouth midfielder taking over at Anfield in the future.

Jones wrote in his Caught Offside column: “[Michael] Edwards and [Richard] Hughes also have strong relationships with both Eddie Howe and Gary O’Neil, but I don’t expect either of those two to come into contention for the role this summer.

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“If O’Neil were to continue impressing at Wolves, however, then I wouldn’t rule out the idea of him coming onto Liverpool’s radar in the future.”

A report yesterday from ESPN insisted that Man Utd ‘want to speak’ to Wolves boss O’Neil about their potential vacancy in the summer if INEOS decide to replace Erik ten Hag.

ESPN added:

‘Sources have told ESPN that O’Neil has been made aware of United’s interest, with senior figures from the club expressing a desire to discuss his intentions.

‘Sources have confirmed United’s interest in O’Neil to ESPN, although the role that they may be prepared to offer is not known. Aside from assessing managerial options, sources have said United are also looking at bolstering their entire coaching team.’

Donyell Malen to Liverpool this summer?

Borussia Dortmund forward Donyell Malen has been heavily linked with Liverpool in recent weeks but Jones is “sceptical as to whether he’s of the quality required to improve a pretty well-stocked attack.”

Jones added: “Donyell Malen has been linked with Liverpool, but how likely is a move for the Borussia Dortmund forward, who has also been linked at times with the likes of Manchester United and Arsenal?

“I think when we talk about potential signings at Liverpool this summer, we have to acknowledge that much will be dictated by the managerial appointment. As such, confirming concrete ‘targets’ is difficult at this moment.

“What we do know is that Malen was looked at previously, when at PSV Eindhoven, and not followed up on. He’s done OK at Dortmund since, nothing more, and while he fits Liverpool’s profile in terms of age and experience, I’d be sceptical as to whether he’s of the quality required to improve a pretty well-stocked attack.

“Me personally? I feel there is room for another attacker at Liverpool this summer, even if Mohamed Salah remains – and there’s a decent chance of that, by the way. I still feel they lack a little bit of searing pace, particularly out wide, and I wonder if that might be an area they look at in this window.

“They have some talented young players emerging, such as Ben Doak, Kaide Gordon and Jayden Danns, but I think there is room for another senior forward in the squad, and even more so if Salah – or Luis Diaz, who has been linked with PSG – were to leave.”