Liverpool step up search for sporting director ahead of managerial decision

  • Liverpool looking for new sporting director after departure of Jorg Schmadtke
  • New transfer chief will help identify managerial replacement for Jurgen Klopp
  • Tim Steidten and Dan Ashworth among those admired at Anfield
Changes are afoot at Anfield
Changes are afoot at Anfield / James Baylis - AMA/Getty Images

Liverpool intend to appoint a new sporting director before finalising a successor to manager Jurgen Klopp, 90min understands.

The Reds are on the lookout for a replacement to Klopp but are first aiming to bring in a sporting director after Jorg Schmadtke left the club following the end of the January transfer window, and there is expected to be a lot of quick movement on this front.

However, sources have told 90min that there is not a frontrunner to fill the vacancy at this stage, and Liverpool even reached out to former sporting director Michael Edwards to see if he wanted to return on a consultancy basis and help find other suitable names. During an informal conversation with FSG chief and club director Mike Gordon, Edwards declined this opportunity.

Jurgen Klopp
Klopp is in need of replacing / Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/GettyImages

Having left Liverpool at the end of the 2021/22 season, Edwards is now a non-executive director at Ludonautics, a sports advisory business he formed alongside Liverpool's former director of research Ian Graham.

West Ham United's Tim Steidten and Newcastle United's Dan Ashworth are among those who are appreciated by decision-makers at Liverpool. But Paul Mitchell - most recently the sporting director of AS Monaco - is not expected to be a leading contender despite having been considered by Liverpool in the past.

The interesting wrinkle to Liverpool's search for a new sporting director is that rivals Manchester United are also looking to fill such a vacancy ahead of the summer transfer window, and so there could be overlap in their candidates and the profiles they are seeking.

INEOS and Sir Jim Ratcliffe have received approval from the Premier League to complete their 25% purchase of shares in United and full confirmation of their onboarding is expected next week. United's structure and approach to recruitment could become more similar to Liverpool than in recent years due to INEOS and Ratcliffe's vision for the Red Devils.