Liverpool: Ornstein confirms ‘conversations’ with ‘wanted’ boss; timeframe for ‘appointment’ revealed

Jason Soutar
Ruben Amorim has been linked with Barcelona and Liverpool
Ruben Amorim has been linked with Barcelona and Liverpool

David Ornstein says Liverpool have held “conversations” with Ruben Amorim, with Barcelona not “in the frame” for the Sporting head coach.

Amorim is now the leading candidate to replace Jurgen Klopp at the end of the season after Xabi Alonso announced his intention to stay at Bayer Leverkusen.

Ornstein: Liverpool target Ruben Amorim a ‘wanted man’

The second favourite being Brighton’s Roberto De Zerbi – who the Reds reportedly do not want – hints that the Portuguese boss will be the man who comes in.

He is being looked at by several clubs, though, and with Liverpool unlikely to act until the 2023/24 season finishes, they could face some fierce competition.

Barcelona have been linked with Amorim as Xavi’s time at the Nou Camp nears its end, but Ornstein has said he is not “in the frame” to join the La Liga champions.

“My most recent information is that he is very much in the frame for Liverpool – not Barcelona – and conversations have taken place,” Ornstein said in a Q&A on The Athletic.

Ornstein adds that he does not think Amorim is Liverpool’s “top target” right now, with the 39-year-old “definitely” leaving Sporting at the end of the season prefers a move to the Premier League over anywhere else.

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“But despite many on the outside suggesting he is the top target, I’m not sure that’s the case internally – not because someone else is or he won’t become that but because there isn’t one while Liverpool continue with what will be a thorough process,” he continued.

“Clearly Amorim is a wanted man and I definitely expect him to leave Sporting this summer. I hear the Premier League is his preference and we don’t know for sure yet but there could well be multiple vacancies, so even if Liverpool do decide to go for him he will also need to decide if they are where he wants to go.

“Whoever takes Amorim will need to pay Sporting for his services; I’ve been told the figure this summer is €10m. Others have reported higher but whatever the precise figure it is a lot lower than it was when Chelsea spoke to him before appointing both Potter and then Pochettino.

“An additional point worth mentioning is that one of Amorim’s key staff members is Paulo Barreira, who is an injury prevention/conditioning expert and used to work at Liverpool. If things do develop in the direction of Amorim to Liverpool, Barreira is probably someone to keep an eye on.”

Ornstein was asked if there is a certain time Liverpool are aiming to have a new manager appointed, saying that new director Richard Hughes will be drawing up a plan already to have someone in by the start of pre-season.

“I’m not aware of a specific time, but you would imagine they would want it comfortably done and dusted well ahead of the return to pre-season training,” he said.

“Now that Michael Edwards and Richard Hughes have been announced as the new sporting director (even though he doesn’t officially start until the summer) and there is clarity over Xabi Alonso, I’d expect Hughes to finesse a plan (A, B, C for example) pretty much immediately. That means from quite soon (or maybe it has already happened) he should have a fairly clear direction of travel.

“Then it is about holding conversations, negotiating and completing the appointment. Naturally with so much to play for this season and Jurgen Klopp still being in position, they will want to be quite discreet.

“Plus it shouldn’t surprise us if it’s something of a slow burner because most or all of the candidates are likely to be in jobs and – for many – at a critical point in the season.

“It’s a huge task and test of the Liverpool hierarchy but I’m sure they will make a strong appointment and can then set about building on the foundations already laid, to try to create a successful new era.”

READ MORE: De Zerbi buys into Klopp style on Liverpool audition but another loss gives Brighton boss work to do