‘A mistake’: Amorim apologises to Sporting for West Ham talks

Sporting CP head coach Ruben Amorim apologised to his players on Saturday and said that it was a “mistake” to fly to London in order to hold talks with West Ham.

Amorim, who has been linked with several European clubs, had travelled with his agent Raul Costa on a private jet to London after Monday’s training session to reportedly discuss a potential move to replace David Moyes as West Ham manager.

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ESPN reported on Tuesday that Amorim was one of the main candidates to take over at the east London club.

“The first thing to say is that the club knew about my trip, that’s the first thing, because it’s important and changes the context,” Amorim told a news conference ahead of Sporting’s match against FC Porto on Sunday.

“The second thing to talk about is this ‘veil of secrecy’ around the trip. I ‘secretly’ parked my car outside, ‘secretly’ walked past 15 people, spoke with the people, took photos with people and got on a plane. It’s important to take away this idea that it was all done behind the club’s back, that didn’t happen.

“And now the most important point, that obviously it was a mistake.

“The trip, the timing was completely wrong. I didn’t think so at the time but it was wrong, especially when I’m so demanding of my players, and I’m always the first to say that the problems of individuals can’t take over the team, and I’ve taken players out of the team for much less.

“It was my fault, I have to accept that and live with it. I didn’t think it was so bad at the time but thinking back on it it’s very clear. I’ve explained this with the players, the staff, but most important now is to carry on.

“I’m using the conference here to say sorry to the Sporting fans, the staff and above all to say sorry publicly to the players for the mistake that I made.”

Sources have told ESPN that Amorim has a contract with Sporting until June 2026 but a €20 million ($21.3m) release clause agreement has been set for foreign clubs.

Amorim was reportedly under consideration by Liverpool to replace Jurgen Klopp, before the Merseyside club set their sights on Feyenoord boss Arne Slot.

Barcelona was also seen as a potential destination for the highly-rated coach before Xavi agreed to remain as manager until the end of his contract in 2025, reversing his decision to step down in the summer.

Earlier this month, Amorim angrily denied reports he had held talks with Liverpool or any other club regarding his future.