Former Man Utd star endorses Liverpool move for Amorim as interview timeframe is revealed

Joe Williams
Liverpool manager target Ruben Amorim
Ruben Amorim has been linked with the Liverpool job.

Former Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic thinks Sporting Lisbon boss Ruben Amorim will be a hit if Liverpool appoint him their new manager.

The Reds are on the lookout for a new manager after Jurgen Klopp announced earlier this season that he will be leaving Anfield in the summer to take a break from football.

Nemanja Matic: I see Ruben Amorim at a great club

Xabi Alonso emerged as the early favourite for the job before he ruled himself out by confirming he will be staying on as Bayer Leverkusen boss next term.

That news led to Sporting Lisbon manager Amorim being installed as the new favourite with rumours that Liverpool had even come to a ‘verbal agreement’ with the Portuguese coach.

However, Amorim quickly moved to deny any such agreement and insisted that he had not even had an interview with Liverpool or any other club.

Amorim told a press conference: “This is the last time I’m going to talk about my future. There’s been no interview, let alone an agreement. The only thing we all want is to be champions with Sporting, and nothing will change.

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“I’m Sporting’s coach. There’s been no interview with any club, no agreement with any club. I’m just focussed, as always, on defending my club. As I no longer have anything to say, there will be no interviews or agreements with the Sporting coach. That subject is completely settled, whether for this club or another.”

Despite his comments, reports have persisted to link Amorim to Anfield and now former Man Utd midfielder Matic, who played with the Sporting boss at Benfica, reckons the 39-year-old has the “personality and character” to be a success at Liverpool.

Matic said in an interview with Portuguese newspaper O Jogo: “Ruben Amorim is an excellent person, he was one of the people who helped me the most when I arrived at Benfica because he speaks English very well, I hope he hasn’t forgotten how to speak it now [laughs].

“I see Ruben Amorim at a great club, I don’t know if it will be Liverpool, but if it happens I’m sure he’ll be a great replacement for Klopp because Ruben understands football and has the personality and character to be a great coach, he already is at the moment. I’d like to see him in the Premier League, let’s see what happens from now on.”

Ben Jacobs: Liverpool will hold interviews mid-to-late April

And former CBS Sports journalist Ben Jacobs insists Liverpool will start interviews with candidates to succeed Klopp in “mid-to-late April” and that Amorim is “inevitably” going to be one of the managers interviewed.

Jacobs wrote in his Caught Offside column: “Ruben Amorim has now clarified he hasn’t yet had a formal interview to replace Jurgen Klopp. And my understanding remains that mid-to-late April has always been the period Liverpool planned to start interviews. They have to be flexible, though, since they need to respect the availability of candidates at such a crucial stage of the season.

“Amorim is inevitably going to get an interview, there is pretty much no doubt about that, but so will other managers. Liverpool, as ever, have a process and aren’t going to rush anything or put all their hopes on one candidate alone. That’s just not how they work. Their search will be discreet and thorough. The way they carry out these types of senior leadership and football appointments is a credit to the club.

“Naturally, if they do pick Amorim, and of course that’s very possible, there will be links with Goncalo Inacio.

“Liverpool are on the lookout for a centre-back but there’s nothing in the Inacio links yet. Liverpool have naturally scouted Ignacio as part of normal due diligence but that isn’t really a clue as to whether they will move. Manchester United are in the same boat.

“I also sense if Viktor Gyokeres is sold, and Sporting do lose Amorim, the Portuguese club will be in no mood to negotiate for Inacio, meaning any suitor will need to pay his €60m release clause.”