Liverpool have Plan B in the works if they can’t make Xabi Alonso next manager | Football | Sport

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Sporting CP manager Ruben Amorim is emerging as the most likely candidate to replace Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool if the club are unable to land Xabi Alonso. Ever since Klopp confirmed in January that this season would signify his last at the club, it’s Alonso who has been the clear favourite to replace him, with his Bayer Leverkusen side eight points clear at the top of the Bundesliga.

The Spaniard was also revered as a player at Anfield, having made 210 appearances for the club in his five-year stint as a player. His spell included Liverpool’s famous 2005 Champions League win, and capturing the FA Cup the following year.

However, a switch back to Merseyside in the summer suddenly doesn’t look so straightforward. Bayern Munich confirmed this week that they would be parting company with Thomas Tuchel at the end of the 2023/24 campaign.

They are now expected to also target Alonso, who finished his playing career at Bayern after also representing Real Madrid. And that’s resulted in Liverpool chiefs weighing-up other options as they set about the seismic task of replacing Klopp.

And according to the Independent, Amorim is second on their list. The 39-year-old former Portuguese international is currently in a title race of his own, with Sporting level on points with Benifca at the top of the Primeira Liga, and with a game in hand.

Amorim joined the club from Braga in 2020, winning the top-flight title in his maiden season. Ironically, he could yet come face-to-face with Klopp in the Europa League this season, with both managers having guided their clubs through to the last-16.

That meeting won’t take place until at least the quarter-final stage though. Sporting will next face Rangers over two legs, with pre-tournament favourites Liverpool taking on Sparta Praha.

In another twist, Alonso and Leverkusen also remain in the competition, having set up a clash with Azerbaijani side Qarabag. This run follows their run to the final-four last season, where they were beaten by Roma.

Intriguingly, Anorim has traditionally favoured a front three, a tactic that is also the trademark of Klopp. Having never managed outside of Portugal though, questions are likely to be asked about the 39 year-old’s lack of experience.

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