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Ruben Amorim: Sporting boss denies agreement with Liverpool to replace Jurgen Klopp

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Ruben Amorim: Sporting boss denies agreement with Liverpool to replace Jurgen Klopp

Sporting manager Ruben Amorim has denied he has reached an agreement with Liverpool over succeeding Jurgen Klopp.

Sky in Germany reported earlier this week the 39-year-old had reached a verbal agreement in principle with Liverpool.

But Amorim has flatly denied those reports and insisted he has not held any interview with Liverpool as he focuses on guiding Sporting to the league title with the club sitting four points clear of Benfica.

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The Portuguese boss told a press conference: "This is the last time I'm going to talk about my future. There was no interview and certainly no agreement.

"The only thing we all want here is to be champions with Sporting, nothing will change. I'm the Sporting coach and there was no interview or agreement with any club.

"I'm just focused, as always, on representing my club. As I no longer have anything else to say…

"There will be no interviews or agreements with the Sporting coach. The matter is completely resolved, whether related to this club or another."

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Amorim is understood to be one of the leading candidates to become the next Liverpool boss but the process of finding Klopp's successor is ongoing.

Due diligence and background checks are being carried out on a number of candidates but no formal negotiations have started with any candidate.

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Liverpool have undergone significant changes in personnel behind the scenes since Klopp's exit announcement, with former sporting director Michael Edwards returning as the chief executive of football.

Richard Hughes will join from Bournemouth as sporting director, while Benfica's Pedro Marques has also been linked with a senior backroom role at Anfield.

Xabi Alonso, the former Liverpool midfielder, was strongly linked with a return to the club as Klopp's successor thanks to his outstanding work at Bayer Leverkusen but announced last month he will be staying in his role next season.

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Amorim is now one of the candidates under consideration after four strong years in charge of Sporting.

After short spells in charge of Casa Pia and Braga, the former Portugal international was appointed by Sporting and guided them to their first league title in 19 years in his first full season in charge.

Amorim has also won two League Cups with Sporting and is set to claim his second league title this season, with his side four points clear of Benfica, with a game in hand.

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It has long been inevitable that Ruben Amorim would take one of Europe's biggest jobs. Winning the title with Sporting in 2021 at the age of 36 all but guaranteed that. The fact that he is on course to repeat the feat in 2024 only underlines his ability as a coach.

Sporting recognised that this was a special talent very early, famously paying a huge release clause after his spectacular start at Braga. They bet on his tactical mind, his fierce commitment as a player, but more than anything on the power of his personality.

In conversation with a series of Portuguese coaches, some of whom have pitted their wits against Amorim this season, we will explore his rise, what it is that makes him so impressive as a coach, and, crucially, whether this can be translated into his next job.

Amorim, the player, was part of a fine Benfica team, winning three league titles in Lisbon. He was good enough to make Portugal's World Cup squad in 2010 but is remembered as a worker, in midfield or at right-back. A team man who brought unity.

Injury forced him to retire early at the age of 32, fast-tracking him on a new path as a coach. His time at Casa Pia, then in the third tier, was curtailed as he was forced to resign with the club facing punishment because he did not have the required licence.

Amorim then rejected a role with Benfica's B team, opting to take Braga's instead, where he would have more control. He ascended to the top job within months, taking them from eighth to third, going unbeaten in the league and winning the Taca da Liga.

Sporting were so convinced that they acted swiftly, paying his eight-figure buy-out clause, making him one of the most expensive managerial hires in history. He repaid them with a first title in 19 years in his first full season, bringing clarity at a chaotic club.

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