Ruben Amorim gets backing for Liverpool job as Reds dealt Xabi Alonso blow

by 24britishtvMarch 29, 2024, 6 a.m. 22
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Fulham star Joao Palhinha has backed Ruben Amorim to deal with the pressure of the Liverpool job if the Reds move for Sporting CP's manager.

Palhinha played under Amorim at Sporting, with the pair winning the Primeira Liga together before the midfielder joined Fulham in 2022. Despite losing a number of star names, Amorim - who doesn't turn 40 until next year - has kept the Lisbon club in title contention.

Amorim's success in the dugout has marked him out as a contender for the Liverpool job when Jurgen Klopp walks away in the summer. He may have moved up the queue, too, with the Premier League side expecting Xabi Alonso to remain at Bayer Leverkusen.

The Sporting job is Amorim's first with a title contender, following short stints in charge of Casa Pia and Braga. A second league title could strengthen his hand as far as Liverpool are concerned, but Palhinha already has faith in his compatriot to rise to the occasion.

“Yes, of course, although the pressure is different,” Palhinha told O Jogo (via TeamTalk) when asked about Amorim's suitability for the job. Sporting sit a point clear at the top of the league table, with a game in hand on their rivals, as the Portuguese season enters its closing stages.

“When you coach a big Portuguese club, you have the pressure of the fans and the size of the club itself, which forces you to win. When you coach Liverpool, you have the pressure of the fans, the club and the whole world. The way it’s growing, I think it’s only a matter of time.

“Ruben is a very good coach, one of the best in Portugal, he’s done an excellent job since Braga. He has an in-depth knowledge of the game and has a close relationship with the players. The way he’s growing, he won’t be in Portugal much longer.”

Who is the best candidate for the Liverpool job? Have your say in the comments section

Alonso had been in high demand, with Liverpool and Bayern Munich - two of the clubs he represented as a player - both eyeing up a swoop. With the former Spain international looking set to stay put, though, Amorim could yet become a target for both sides.

"We'll have to see if we can do it this year," Bayern's honorary president Uli Hoeness said. "It will be difficult, if not probably impossible. [Alonso] is more inclined to stay at Bayer Leverkusen in view of their current successes, because he would not want to leave them behind.

"Let's say if he had two or three more years of success, it would probably be easier to bring him out of there," Hoeness added. Alonso's Leverkusen are unbeaten in his first full season with the club, and are 10 points clear of Bayern in the Bundesliga title race while remaining in contention to set up a Europa League final with Liverpool in Dublin.

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