Liverpool ‘open talks’ with former would-be Tottenham Hotspur manager

Steven Chicken
Lille manager Paulo Fonseca
Lille manager Paulo Fonseca is the latest name linked with Anfield

Liverpool have supposedly opened talks with Lille manager Paulo Fonseca about their upcoming managerial vacancy.

As you may or may not have heard by now, the Reds are hunting for a successor to Jurgen Klopp, who announced midway through the season that he will step down from his role this summer.

Paulo Fonseca linked with Liverpool after impressing with Lille

A bevy of names have been linked in the absence of substantial leaks from the club. Former Liverpool midfielder Xabi Alonso was regarded as the early front-runner, but he has since ruled himself out by announcing his intention to stand by Bayer Leverkusen.

UNIQUE TO F365: Mediawatch | Mailbox | Winners & Losers | Bespoke PL tables

Sporting gaffer Ruben Amorim was next up to the plate in the bookies’ favourites list, but the Portuguese has been tight-lipped about his summer plans. West Ham United are also interested in bringing Amorim to the Premier League and flew him over to London for talks on Monday, but reports have suggested the meeting was ‘not positive’.

MORE ON LIVERPOOL’S MANAGER SEARCH
👉 Why the West Ham job is a better bet than Liverpool for your Amorims and Fonsecas
👉 Five interim managers panicking Liverpool should consider before Alonso drive in 2025
👉 West Ham offer Amorim ‘considerably higher’ wage and ‘freedom’ with Liverpool move ‘unlikely’

Fonseca is the next face to come around the carousel, with Anfield Watch writing that Liverpool held ‘informal talks’ with the Lille manager.

The 51-year-old has a long career in management that has most notably included Porto, Braga, Shakhtar Donetsk and Roma. His medals collection includes the Portuguese League Cup – won with Braga in 2015/16 – and three consecutive Ukrainian league and cup doubles.

Fonseca was set to become Tottenham Hotspur manager in 2021, but a change of director of football scuppered the informal agreement in favour of Nuno Espirito Santo.

Paulo Fonseca style could help Liverpool with difficult transition

The Athletic picked out Fonseca as one of European football’s ‘six most innovative up-and-coming managers’ earlier this year, highlighting their change to a high-pressing, quick-acting counter-attacking side under his watch, but noting that he is willing to be flexible rather than dogmatic.

That may fit in nicely with the style Klopp has (overall) enjoyed success with at Liverpool and help ease a notoriously difficult transition away from such a talismanic manager.

📣 TO THE COMMENTS! If not Alonso, then who should replace Klopp? Join the debate

The Athletic’s David Ornstein reported earlier this week that Liverpool were prepared to be ‘brave over popular’ with their next appointment, suggesting they may value style of play over big-name value or fan consensus

However, the Fonseca link may conflict slightly with Ornstein’s reporting that Liverpool are still in the final stages of analysing which managers they want to approach.

Klopp has been at Liverpool since 2015 and ended their 30-year wait for their 19th league title in 2020, as well as guiding them to three Champions League finals (one win), an FA Cup, and two League Cups. His middle name is Norbert.

READ NEXTThe 10 maddest things from this very mad season of Barclays

More: Liverpool | Jurgen Klopp’s replacement