Liverpool U23s coach Michael Beale to take assistant manager role in Brazil

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Liverpool U23s coach Michael Beale is reported to be set to join Sao Paulo manager Rogerio Ceni as the Brazilian’s new assistant manager.

Beale is well established on Merseyside, and has been in charge of the Reds’ U23s, formerly the U21s, since 2014.

This has capped a successful four years at the club so far, but if reports in Brazil are to be believed, his time with Liverpool is due to come to an end.

According to Globo Esporte, Ceni headhunted Beale on a trip to Liverpool in September, and a deal could be finalised next week.

Ceni met with Jurgen Klopp, as well as Lucas Leiva, Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino, at Melwood, before taking over at Sao Paulo at the end of November.

Beale has been pictured in Brazil this week, watching Sao Paulo’s 4-0 win over Capivariano along with Ceni on Sunday, and he is set to begin learning Portuguese on taking over the role.

If Beale does leave Liverpool, it will prompt a shakeup in the club’s academy coaching setup – and freeing up a role for Steven Gerrard.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, November 29, 2016: Former Liverpool player Steven Gerrard during the Football League Cup Quarter-Final match between Liverpool and Leeds United at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Neil Critchley is currently in charge of the Under 18s, with Des Maher coaching the Under 16s, and the duo could take a step up in roles respectively.

Critchley has been with the club since 2013 and is widely regarded within the academy.

Alternatively, the Reds could look to appoint a entirely new U23s manager, with Klopp already having brought the likes of Zeljko Buvac, Peter Krawietz and Andreas Kornmayer into the club.

It is unlikely that first-team development coach Pepijn Lijnders will take the role, as he is already settled as the club’s liaison between the academy and the senior side.

One possible candidate for the role is Gerrard, who has been heavily linked with a return to the Reds after his retirement last month.

Gerrard has already turned down a managerial role with MK Dons, and some reports have suggested he doesn’t want just a “symbolic” role but a “meaningful” one – which U23s coach would be.

Whether he would step in as U23s immediately remains to be seen, and the 36-year-old could instead coach the U16s, with Critchley as U23s coach and Maher moving up to the U18s.

Gerrard has been at Anfield for Liverpool’s last two games, with his affinity with the club clear.

UPDATE: Beale’s move has now been confirmed by the Times’ Paul Joyce.

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