De Zerbi not among leading Liverpool candidates to replace Klopp


Roberto De Zerbi is not one of the leading candidates to succeed Jurgen Klopp as Liverpool manager.

The Brighton head coach has been considered by the current Premier League leaders and was on an original list as they began the search to find the next man to fill Jurgen Klopp’s shoes.

The Liverpool hierarchy have turned their attention to other candidates and De Zerbi is not their focus.

According to Sky Germany, De Zerbi and Julian Nagelsmann are the top two contenders for the Bayern Munich manager’s job, now that Xabi Alonso has said he is staying at Bayer Leverkusen.

Bayern sporting director Max Eberl has a high opinion of Brighton manager De Zerbi and Sky Germany understands he has an exit clause of €10m-€15m [£8.5m-£12.8m].

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Roberto De Zerbi insists he is proud to be Brighton head coach, despite reports linking him with a move away from the club

De Zerbi cast doubt over his Brighton future last week by refusing to commit to the Seagulls for next season and revealed he wants to have talks with club owner Tony Bloom about his next steps.

Asked if he could reassure Brighton fans that he will be at the club next season, De Zerbi replied: “I have a different way to decide my future.

“I want to speak with my club, I have a contract but the problem is not the contract – the problem is to find the same plan, the same target, the same vision for the future.

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Xabi Alonso ends recent speculation linking him to Liverpool and Bayern Munich by committing his future to Bayer Leverkusen

“For me, I have not decided yet what is my future, because I have the contract, but anyway I want to speak with Tony [Bloom], my club, to understand their plan, to understand his plan, the Tony plan. Then we take the decision together, without problems.

“The future I want to keep my ambition, my motivation, I live for football 24 hours a day, I want to know what is the plan, what is the project, what is the future because if I don’t feel comfortable, I don’t feel the right motivation, I can’t stay any longer.”

Alonso ruled himself out of a move away from Bayer Leverkusen last week, telling reporters he had considered his options but had informed the club and players of his decision during the international break.

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Paul Merson described the managerial role at Liverpool as ‘one of the biggest jobs in football’ and admitted he was ‘shocked’ by Xabi Alonso’s decision to stay at Bayer Leverkusen

“It’s been a season where we’ve had a lot of speculation regarding my future, until now we’ve had so many games, we’ve been pretty busy and focused,” said Alonso in Friday’s press conference.

“I wanted to use that time in the international break and take a decision and last week I had a very good meeting with Simon [Rolfes, managing director], Fernando [Carro, CEO] and informed them of my decision to continue being coach of Bayer Leverkusen.

“For sure, all the decisions you have to analyse well. I try to take the right ones, and where they come in a natural way. This is the right way for me to develop as a coach. I am a young coach, but right now, I feel this is the right place.”

Analysis: Why Sporting coach Amorim is Liverpool target

Sky Sports’ Adam Bate:

“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.”

Read Adam’s full article on the Sporting Lisbon coach here.

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