José Mourinho sounds warning to Liverpool after overlooking Rúben Amorim

José Mourinho walks in the Paddock prior to the F1 Grand Prix of Saudi Arabia at Jeddah Corniche Circuit on March 09, 2024 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
José Mourinho has talked up Ruben Amorim, one of the candidates overlooked by Liverpool. -Credit:Clive Rose/Getty Images

Liverpool was linked with numerous managerial candidates before seemingly settling on Arne Slot. Indeed, the Feyenoord coach's name came almost out of nowhere, after months of other potential Jürgen Klopp heirs dominating the headlines.

Of course, there was Xabi Alonso, clearly the outstanding candidate due to his incredible work with Bayer Leverkusen. His Liverpool past was an added bonus. But he decided to stay with the Bundesliga outfit, blowing the competition wide open.

After him, there was no real standout. José Mourinho even got half a mention, having appeared at Craven Cottage during Liverpool's match with Fulham. But Sporting manager Rúben Amorim rose steadily to prominence in the gossip columns.

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Initially in a posse with Julian Nagelsmann and Roberto De Zerbi, Amorim eventually found himself as the leading candidate, both in terms of the bookies' odds and fan sentiment. It helped that his Sporting side was marching towards the league title in Portugal.

That's now close to being wrapped up. But the links to Liverpool dramatically disintegrated — it emerged that Amorim was flying in for talks with West Ham, and then Slot's name really hit the headlines as the preferred candidate at Anfield.

It's not thought that Amorim was ever made the top option in Liverpool's search, contrary to reports. But everyone will no doubt watch with interest at what he does next, with the 39-year-old having been overlooked as a Klopp heir.

Mourinho has sounded a warning to Liverpool, singing the praises of his compatriot. "I like him as a person, I like him as a coach," Mourinho told Mais Futebol.

"I think he’s capable of coaching in any league and he’s capable of coaching at any club. But he’s in a good league and he’s at a great club. It’s his decision and it will be, or not, up to the clubs that want him or don’t want him or want to convince him, with more or less arguments."

Liverpool obviously opted not to pursue a charm offensive to land Amorim, preferring to go after Feyenoord coach Slot. Time will tell if that was the right decision, but Mourinho clearly thinks highly of the Sporting manager. says: Amorim is undoubtedly a good young coach. Mourinho is not the only one he has impressed.

Even so, it was strange how he was so thoroughly accepted as the standout candidate after Alonso. There's a sense that Liverpool fans just needed to be fed a name after the disappointment of missing out, and collectively convinced themselves Amorim was the one for the job.

After all, Slot has credentials that are at least as impressive. Portugal and the Netherlands sit in broadly equivalent places just outside of Europe's big five leagues, and both managers have upset patterns of dominance to claim a league title. If anything, the Feyenoord boss has fared better in Europe, taking his side to the inaugural Europa Conference League final — where he lost to Mourinho, as it happens.