Liverpool ready to be “brave over popular” with new manager – 3 already ruled out

Liverpool’s search for a new manager has the club resolved to be “brave over popular” with their appointment, with three candidates already ruled out.

The narrative of Liverpool’s hunt for a successor to Jurgen Klopp has already taken a number of turns since the news of his resignation in January.

Xabi Alonso became the immediate favourite for the job, but the club kept their own counsel when it came to rumours, with the confirmation that he would stay at Bayer Leverkusen seemingly less of a shock to them.

Brighton‘s Roberto De Zerbi was another early front-runner, but it is now widely reported that he is not under consideration.

Friday brought the news that Julian Nagelsmann has extended his contract as Germany manager, while earlier in the week, ex-Bayern Munich boss Niko Kovac publicly dismissed claims he was in the running.

Sporting CP’s Ruben Amorim is now the overwhelming favourite, but The Athletic‘s David Ornstein insists Liverpool are “prepared to be brave over popular” with their choice.

Sporting's head coach from Portugal Ruben Amorim (Image: © Alexandre de Sousa/Alamy Live News)

Amorim, he insists, is “not a shoo-in” for the job, which indicates that, at least where the media is concerned, no decision has been made yet.

The notion of being “brave over popular” could lead Liverpool to a shock candidate, though from an outside perspective there seem few viable options.

It has been maintained that, benefiting from the input of director of research William Spearman and new arrivals Michael Edwards (CEO of Football) and Richard Hughes (sporting director), the search will be data-led.

Whether that could lead them to a left-field target such as Bournemouth‘s Gary O’Neil, for example, would certainly fit into the “brave over popular” mantra.

O’Neil is now fourth-favourite among bookmakers, behind only Amorim, De Zerbi and Bologna manager Thiago Motta, but there would be major question marks over his credentials.

BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND - AUGUST 11: Unai Emery, Head coach of Villarreal gives their team instructions during the UEFA Super Cup 2021 match between Chelsea FC and Villarreal CF at the National Football Stadium at Windsor Park on August 11, 2021 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Lukas Schulze - © UEFA)

Interestingly, odds have shortened in recent days when it comes to Feyenoord boss Arne Slot, while Thomas Tuchel, Unai Emery and Vitor Pereira, who currently coach of Saudi Pro League side Al Shabab, are also deemed in the frame.

Sources in Portugal have been adamant that Amorim is the primary candidate and even that talks had progressed with the 39-year-old’s representatives.

But perhaps the key takeaway when it comes to Ornstein’s update is that, when it comes to Liverpool’s new manager pursuit, the club are simply giving nothing away.