Champions League

Liverpool could land Ruben Amorim for as little as £12.8m after Xabi Alonso snub

Liverpool could land Ruben Amorim for as little as £12.8m after Xabi Alonso snub

Ruben Amorim could be released from his contract with Sporting Lisbon at the end of the season, should Liverpool choose to target him – Getty Images/Fabrice Coffrini

Liverpool could land Ruben Amorim for as little as £12.8 million after Xabi Alonso confirmed he would not be succeeding Jurgen Klopp.

Telegraph Sport understands the release clause in Amorim’s contract, that can be triggered at the end of this season, is €15 million.

The clause, agreed with Sporting Lisbon, drops to €10m (£8.5m) in the summer of 2025 – and its existence means it will be easier for Liverpool to agree a deal with the Portuguese club should they eventually decide to make a move for the highly rated 39-year-old.

It had previously been claimed in Portugal that the figure to release Amorim, who signed a new four-year deal in 2022, was significantly higher – around twice as much.

Telegraph Sport revealed on Thursday that Liverpool are zoning in on other candidates because Alonso was deemed off limits.

Amorim has won admirers for his work in Portugal where he ended a 19-year-wait for the title in his first full season with Sporting, who are top again this season. The former Braga coach, who speaks English, also won the Portuguese domestic cup in three successive years.

Liverpool already know that the other strong contender being considered – Roberto De Zerbi – also has a termination clause in his deal with Brighton and Hove Albion. It has been revealed that this amount is at least £12 million – a similar amount to that which Liverpool would have to pay for Amorim but, again, hardly prohibitive to a deal being agreed.

Liverpool are looking at other candidates and have considered a move for Julian Nagelsmann, whose current deal as coach of the German national team ends after Euro 2024, but it appears unlikely he will take over at Anfield.

Fears over Alonso’s availability to replace Klopp were confirmed on Friday as he announced he will remain in charge of Bayer Leverkusen. The 42-year-old former Liverpool midfielder was considered the favourite to succeed Klopp after the German’s shock decision to quit the club at the end of the season.

But Alonso said: “I had a good meeting with Bayer Leverkusen and I informed them that I will stay and continue at the club. After lots of talks about my future, I used the break to reflect and make my decision. This is the place to be for me.”

Xabi Alonso committed his future to Bayer Leverkusen at Friday’s press conference – Getty Images/Jörg Schüler

Klopp had suggested Alonso was one of the standout candidates to replace him but said on Friday he could appreciate why the Spaniard decided to stay put.

Klopp said: “A young manager being at a club doing well. I did pretty much the same [stayed when first offered the chance to leave] and never regretted it. He is doing a great job there. They have a great team and can keep the team together. I understand why he wants to do that.”

Bayern Munich were also keen on Alonso as they search for a successor to Thomas Tuchel, who will leave the club in the summer.

Alonso’s side are 10 points clear of Bayern with six games remaining, with Leverkusen on the verge of ending the German giants’ 11-year stranglehold on the Bundesliga trophy.

Alonso added: “My job at Bayer is not over. I want to help the club, help the players to develop, the board is great… it’s all fantastic here. I’m still a young coach but I think this is the best decision for my future. I took my time and I’m sure about that.

“I’m not going to comment about Liverpool or Bayern. These are big clubs and I’ve strong links with them but I’m in the place where I want to be. It’s not time to decide my future now – I want to develop at Bayer Leverkusen.”

It is understood that Alonso feels he owes Leverkusen a debt for backing him with his first senior managerial job, that he wants to take them into the Champions League and also that he fears announcing he would be leaving now might derail a campaign in which they are heading for their first German title.

Real Madrid will also be taking note of his decision to stay given they are interested in him when Carlo Ancelotti eventually leaves.

Klopp: De Zerbi is a top coach

Liverpool have appointed a new sporting director, Richard Hughes, who will take over in June, while Fenway Sports Group have reunited with former sporting director Michael Edwards, who is the American owners’ football chief executive. The pair will be ultimately responsible for selecting a new manager.

The club’s data team is focusing on coaches whose sides are equipped at winning the ball high up the pitch – similar to Klopp – and whose teams will fit the make-up of the squad.

De Zerbi takes Brighton to Anfield this Sunday, with Klopp praising the Italian’s style of play. “It’s difficult to play against them. They are super-dominant, and you cannot do that with no training. You cannot just put the line up on the wall and say ‘that’s how we play’,” he said.

“There’s a lot of work behind that, a lot of convincing the players because he changed a lot. The way the goalie has to play, the way the centre-halves have to start the build up, the way the sixes have to move, the way the 10s move, the wingers, everybody.”

Klopp added: “And yes, that makes him a top coach, because of the influence he had. I met him three times [it is four] and he seems to be a nice guy. That’s all I know about the person, but I saw his football team playing pretty often and I can say that he is a top coach.”

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