LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Monday, December 9, 2019: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp during a training session at Melwood Training Ground ahead of the UEFA Champions League Group E match between FC Salzburg and Liverpool FC. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool miss out on major staff appointment after “change of heart”

Liverpool are still searching for a replacement for departed head of medical services Andy Massey after a last-minute “change of heart” from Arsenal doctor Gary O’Driscoll.

O’Driscoll was set to take over from Massey following his move to take up a prominent role with FIFA at the beginning of March, as one of a number of changes to the Reds’ backroom.

Richie Partridge has also left to join the Qatar national team, while fellow first-team physio Christopher Rohrbeck is in line for an exit at the end of the campaign.

The prospective appointment of O’Driscoll, who has previously worked with the British Lions, was seen as another masterstroke from Liverpool, given his top-level pedigree.

But The Athletic‘s David Ornstein reports that the Irishman has had a “change of heart” and will now remain with Arsenal, following an “impassioned plea” from Mikel Arteta.

This leaves Liverpool with no direct replacement for Massey, with academy doctor Jim Moxon filling in during a critical period for the club amid the coronavirus outbreak, supported by Massey’s wife, doctor Sarah Lindsay.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, March 10, 2020: Liverpool players during a training session at Melwood Training Ground ahead of the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 2nd Leg match between Liverpool FC and Club Atlético de Madrid. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Michael Edwards is set to head the search for a new head of medical services alongside Philipp Jacobsen, who operates as the club’s medical rehabilitation and performance manager.

No candidates are named so far, and it serves as a difficult development for the Reds, who have already seen one approach for another Premier League doctor turned down.

The deal to bring O’Driscoll to Merseyside is said to have been “almost complete,” but now Liverpool require another thorough process to identify the ideal replacement for the long-serving Massey.