Michael Edwards: What it would take for ex-sporting director to rejoin Liverpool

  • Liverpool interested in bringing Edwards back to club
  • Edwards could be tempted in returning if offered greater role than sporting director
  • Reds also looking at Nice's Florent Ghisolfi, who was first hired by INEOS
Liverpool are undergoing changes
Liverpool are undergoing changes / Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

Michael Edwards is not interested in returning to Liverpool as a sporting director, though would consider rejoining the club in a grander capacity.

Edwards spent 11 years at Liverpool between 2011 and 2022, with the final six years of his extremely successful tenure coming as sporting director.

The Reds are in need of filling that current vacancy following the departure of Jorg Schmadtke at the end of the January transfer window, and 90min previously reported the club have already asked Edwards about a return.

However, sources have told 90min that the 44-year-old has no interest in returning to any club in a sporting director capacity, so should Liverpool make another approach they will need to offer Edwards a broader role.

Edwards, who is currently the non-executive director of sports advisory business Ludonautics, would only contemplate a return to club football if he were handed a role giving him full control, such as a the 'CEO of football' title Chelsea offered in 2022. Back then, sources indicate Edwards was blown away by the offer but the timing just wasn't right.

Edwards would also consider taking on equity, which is something Fenway Sports Group gave to basketball star and Liverpool supporter LeBron James. FSG have a partners summit this week and want to finalise plans for Liverpool's leadership team.

Ghisolfi of Nice is also on Liverpool's radar / VALERY HACHE/GettyImages

If Edwards makes it clear again he won't take any role, Liverpool will quickly move on. But if he does accept, Liverpool are expected to get two hires in one since it's likely Edwards will recommend Bournemouth's Richard Hughes for the sporting director role.

Beyond Edwards, 90min understands Liverpool are considering Nice sporting director Florent Ghisolfi, who was first hired by Manchester United's new shareholders INEOS.

Ghisolfi joined Nice in October 2022 after three years at Ligue 1 rivals Lens as a sports coordinator. During his time at the Allianz Riviera, Ghisolfi has overseen the signings of the likes of Nigeria striker Terem Moffi and Ivory Coast winger Jeremie Boga.

Nice are owned by INEOS, who recently completed the acquisition of a 28% stake in Liverpool's bitter rivals United. They would, however, be powerless to stop Liverpool making an approach for Ghisolfi.

INEOS have overlooked Ghisolfi for the sporting director role at United, with Newcastle's Dan Ashworth expected to be appointed in the near future.

Jurgen Klopp
Liverpool are planning for a new era after Jurgen Klopp and his coaching staff depart / Mike Hewitt/GettyImages

Frederic Massara, who most recently spent four years as AC Milan’s sporting director and oversaw the construction of their Scudetto-winning side of 2022, is also on Liverpool's radar and readily available having left San Siro last summer.

Former Norwich City chief Stuart Webber has admirers at Anfield and was considered for a role at the club in the past, though it is unlikely he will get the senior sporting director job.

The simplest solution for Liverpool would be to promote from within, with highly-rated pair Dave Fallows (head of recruitment and scouting) and Barry Hunter (chief scout) - seen within the industry as one of the great recruitment double-acts - potentially well-placed to take on Schmadtke's role in a dual capacity.

Sources close to Liverpool claim West Ham United technical director Tim Steidten is not and has never been a serious target.