Liverpool transfer guru Michael Edwards is to leave the club at the end of the season, sources have told ESPN, with the widely-respected sporting director due to be replaced by his deputy, Julian Ward.
Edwards, who joined Liverpool from Tottenham to take up the role of head of analytics in 2011, is regarded by the Anfield hierarchy as a crucial element of the club’s success in recent years, with his contribution seen by many inside and outside the club as being as important as that of manager Jurgen Klopp.
Sources at Liverpool have told ESPN that Edwards is out of contract at the end of this season and has yet to commit to a new deal to continue his role in charge of the player recruitment team.
But other sources have told ESPN that Edwards has made his decision to seek a new challenge and that Ward, who was promoted to the position of assistant sporting director in December 2020, will step into the senior role once Edwards leaves the club.
Edwards has implemented the blueprint of FenwaySports Group (FSG), Liverpool’s owners, during his time as sporting director, overseeing the club’s attempts to identify and recruit high quality players for sensible fees, at the same time as offloading players at the key moment.
The decision to sell Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona for £142 million in January 2018 was questioned by supporters at the time, but the proceeds of that deal allowed Liverpool to sign Virgil van Dijk for £75m and goalkeeper Alisson Becker for £67m.