Liverpool 'still likes' $118m duo as Arne Slot gets 'green light' for Rúben Amorim transfer raid

Gonçalo Inácio and Ousmane Diomande of Sporting CP look over team mate Pedro Goncalves of Sporting CP as he lays injured after scoring to give the side a 1-0 lead during the UEFA Europa League 2023/24 round of 16 second leg match between Atalanta BC and Sporting CP at Stadio Di Bergamo on March 14, 2024 in Bergamo, Italy.
Liverpool continues to be linked with a Sporting duo despite plumping for Arne Slot over Rúben Amorim. -Credit:Jonathan Moscrop/Getty Images

Liverpool looks primed to announce Arne Slot as its new manager. That comes after months of speculation following Jürgen Klopp's announcement that he would be stepping down at the end of the season.

Various candidates have emerged in that time. Early favorite Xabi Alonso ended speculation by committing his future to Bayer Leverkusen, where he is now on the verge of a frankly astonishing unbeaten season across all competitions, helped by a slew of increasingly unbelievable late goals.

Rúben Amorim's name then rose to prominence, but it seems Slot has won the race. He's expected to join in the summer, when he will set about building on the 'Liverpool 2.0' foundations laid by Klopp.

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Lots of that work will not require the transfer market. Klopp is leaving behind an accomplished squad for Slot, bolstered by the emergence of a number of young talents this season. But there are one or two areas where reinforcements could be required.

The center of defense looks particularly ripe for transfer activity. Virgil van Dijk is turning 33 in the summer, Joël Matip will be leaving on a free transfer, and the majority of the remaining options are known for picking up injury problems.

To that end, Liverpool has seen itself linked with Sporting duo Gonçalo Inácio and Ousmane Diomande. Both key parts of a back three under Amorim on the way to a likely title, they are expected to be in demand.

Many connected the links to Amorim and the links to the defensive duo. But it seems Liverpool could target the Sporting pair even under the leadership of Slot.

According to TeamTalk, citing Portuguese outlet Record, Liverpool retains its interest in both Inácio and Diomande. Not only that, but Slot has got the 'green light' to take his pick between the pair.

Sporting, for its part, is thought to be ready to cash in. It's prepared to sell Diomande for $54m (£43m/€50m), well below his reported release clause, while Inácio could go for $64m (£51m/€60m).

This will presumably come as a blow to Amorim if he is to remain at Sporting beyond the summer. However, he may yet be on the move himself despite being overlooked by Liverpool, with links to West Ham persisting. says: If there was ever any substance to the Inácio and Diomande links, then it's no surprise that they haven't gone away just because Liverpool has not chosen Amorim. Regardless of whether it picked him, Slot or anyone else, the club was committed to moving towards a 'head coach' model, with transfer power more or less kept elsewhere.

Back at FSG, Michael Edwards will play a part in shaping transfer plans, while Richard Hughes will take over as sporting director at the end of the season. It will ultimately be up to them to decide if the Sporting defenders fit the bill.