Liverpool need Michael Edwards control after Ruben Amorim hints at snub amid false reports

Will Ford
Edwards Amorim Liverpool
Liverpool could do with some Michael Edwards control in their search for a new manager.

Liverpool did their business largely under the radar in Michael Edwards’ first spell at Anfield, and the new CEO could do with some of that control in their search for a new manager after Ruben Amorim was forced to deny false reports.

Liverpool fans won’t have been hugely encouraged by Ruben Amorim’s response having been asked once again whether he would be leaving Sporting Lisbon for the Reds in the summer.

“I don’t feel like I’ve finished a cycle,” Amorim said. “I feel like I want to keep going so this isn’t over yet, we want to win and keep moving forward.”

What exactly constitutes a “cycle” in Amorim’s mind isn’t clear, and he may well be the Liverpool manager come the summer having secured the Primeira Liga for Sporting, but the way in which his comments chime with those of Xabi Alonso, when Liverpool’s first choice to succeed Jurgen Klopp committed his future to Bayer Leverkusen, will hardly have heartened Michael Edwards and Richard Hughes in their bid to secure their new favourite.

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“It’s the right place for me to be, to develop as a coach,” Alonso said. “The fans showed great support this year. They have all the reasons to believe and dream we can have a great season. The players gave me so many reasons to keep believing in the team. My job is not over here.”

In both instances, Liverpool haven’t been helped by false reporting.

A club renowned for getting transfers completed under the radar has felt the damaging force of the rumour mill in their chase of a new manager. It was inevitable, with the stature of the club, the legacy of the departing boss and battles with fellow European giants uniting to create an unmissable opportunity for clicks and eyeballs. Liverpool’s next manager is big business.

It appeared Alonso was as good as in the hotseat after reports of a ‘total agreement’ led to rumours instead focusing on which Bayer Leverkusen players the Spaniard might bring with him to Anfield. And the nonsense has only ramped up with Amorim, who was clearly frustrated at having to dispel the myths of a ‘verbal agreement’ being in place to become the next Liverpool boss.

“This is the last time I’m going to talk about my future,” he said. “There’s been no interview, let alone an agreement.”

It of course wasn’t the last time he spoke about his future, with his claim of unfinished business at Sporting coming the very next day, and you’ve got to wonder what effect the consistent questions, rumours and lies are having on his desire to manage Liverpool.

He may be questioning whether such a level of scrutiny before he’s even taken the job provides a forewarning as to what’s to come, and perhaps whether his potential new employers should be doing more to prevent the stories which are drawing his focus away from Sporting and the task at hand.

We assume Edwards and Hughes, the men tasked with finding Klopp’s replacement, are as frustrated as anyone by the media falsehoods. It’s of no benefit to them to plant stories of meetings or agreements with managerial candidates which plainly aren’t true, particularly when those stories force said candidates to come out in opposition to them.

They of course can’t stop reporters making stuff up, and the sources of the rumours – Foot Mercato’s Santi Aouna and Sky Germany’s Florian Plettenburg – provide consistently stern tests of the there being no smoke without fire. But Hughes, and especially new FSG CEO Edwards, could be doing more to control the narrative – one of the latter’s greatest qualities in his first spell with the club.

Why should it fall on Amorim to deny such reports? And wouldn’t some proactivity on Liverpool’s part be appreciated by the man they may want to be at the helm next season?

READ MOREXabi Alonso made Liverpool U-turn after director talks as Richard Hughes targets £120.5m trio