Ruben Amorim responds to Liverpool links after Xabi Alonso decision | Football

Ruben Amorim is now favourite to replace Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool (Picture: Getty Images)

Ruben Amorim insists he is ‘very happy’ at Sporting and is only focussed on their games to come this season, despite links with replacing Jurgen Klopp as Liverpool manager.

The 39-year-old is now favourite with the bookmakers to be the next permanent Liverpool manager after Xabi Alonso announced his decision to stay at Bayer Leverkusen next season.

That announcement has left both Liverpool and Bayern Munich looking elsewhere for their next manager as the Spaniard was first choice for both the Merseyside and Bavarian giants.

Amorim is now thought to be top of Liverpool’s shortlist, but the Portuguese is not being drawn on the possibility of a move to Anfield.

While it ultimately might not mean much, he has hinted that he could stay at Sporting despite the interest from the Premier League, saying he has a contract and is very happy at the club.

‘Liverpool? Right now I’m just focused on Sporting,’ Amorim said after a win at Estrela on Friday night which took Sporting to the top of the Primeira Liga table.

‘I am very proud to be Sporting’s manager. I have a contract, and even more importantly than that, I’m very happy here. My focus is on beating Benfica.’

Liverpool Training Session

Jurgen Klopp is stepping down as Liverpool boss at the end of the season (Picture: Getty Images)

The likes of Roberto De Zerbi, Julian Nagelsmann and current assistant boss Pep Lijnders are all also thought to be candidates for Liverpool but Amorim leads the way.

The Sporting boss has a release clause in his contract worth €15m (£12.8m) this summer, with that fee dropping to €10m (£8.5m) in 2025.

Alonso’s choice to stay at Leverkusen has disappointed many Liverpool fans, but Klopp said he can understand why the Spaniard has chosen to stay where he is doing so well early in his managerial career.

‘A young manager being at a club where he is doing really well,’ Klopp told a press conference on Friday. ‘I had a similar situation and did pretty much the same, if you want, and never regretted it.

‘That’s pretty much everything I can say, he is doing an incredible job there. Leverkusen has a good team, probably will keep the team together, I think that’s possible as well and it’s not every year like that.’

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