News Matches

Liverpool still in contract talks with sporting director Edwards and remain confident he will stay at Anfield

11:56 BST 30/08/2021
Anfield gates Liverpool
Edwards’ contract at Anfield expires next summer, and reports on Monday suggested he had already informed the Reds of his desire to leave

Liverpool insist they are relaxed about the future of sporting director Michael Edwards, amid reports he could leave the club at the end of the season.

Edwards’ contract at Anfield expires next summer, and a report in The Athletic on Monday suggested he had already informed the Reds of his desire to leave.

Club sources however insist that is not the case and that negotiations remain ongoing, with Liverpool eager to persuade the 42-year-old to remain on Merseyside beyond 2022.

What is Edwards’ back-story at Liverpool?

Edwards was brought to Liverpool in 2011 by Damien Comolli, the club’s former director of football. He had worked with Comolli previously at Tottenham, having initially moved into football as a performance analyst at Portsmouth.

In November 2016, long after Comolli had departed the club, Edwards was promoted to the newly-created role of sporting director at Liverpool, a move that was welcomed by club owner Mike Gordon as well as manager Jurgen Klopp.

Since then, Liverpool have developed into one of the world’s premier club sides, winning the Champions League in 2019, the Premier League a year later and the UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup in between.

Edwards and his team have taken plenty of credit for that development, with signings such as Mo Salah, Sadio Mane, Andy Robertson, Virgil van Dijk, Alisson Becker, Gini Wijnaldum and Fabinho proving crucial.

Edwards was also heavily involved in the purchase of Roberto Firmino back in 2015.

Who would replace Edwards if he was to leave?

Liverpool, it should be noted, have already begun succession planning in that department, with the promotion of Julian Ward to assistant sporting director last year.

Ward was formerly the club’s head of loan pathways and football partnerships - a role now held by David Woodfine - and is highly regarded both inside and outside the club.

He would appear the obvious candidate to step up should Edwards leave, although club insiders insist that is far from a cut and dried situation at present.

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