Liverpool’s hugely influential sporting director Michael Edwards is expected to step down at the conclusion of the season, ending an incredibly successful period with the club.
Edwards has been at the heart of Liverpool’s transformation from challenger to champion, with his off-field dealings securing the signatures of key pillars in recent years.
He is a well-respected figure and since his promotion to the role in 2016, the Reds have seen the likes of Mohamed Salah, Alisson, Fabinho, Andy Robertson and Virgil van Dijk arrive to transform the team.
Thorough research and data have proven fundamental and changed the trajectory of the club, with Jurgen Klopp a keen supporter of Edwards and his team.
Responsible for incomings, outgoings and new contracts, Edwards is revered by Reds for his savvy business dealings but his time at Liverpool is to come to an end at the end of the season.
According to The Athletic’s David Ornstein, Edwards’ contract is to end next summer and “he is believed to have informed the Liverpool hierarchy of his intention to move on.”
But Ornstein does go on to say that the decision has “yet to be finalised” and with “amicable discussions” ongoing there remains a possibility Edwards could extend his stay, but “the anticipation is he will exit.”
The Liverpool Echo further this by reporting that the club are “keen for him to remain in the position” but after 10 years on Merseyside, Edwards is believed to be open to a new challenge.
There’s no rival club involved in the matter currently, but the Reds have a succession plan in place having prompted Julian Ward to the role of assistant sporting director at the end of 2020.
Ward moved to Liverpool from Man City back in 2012 and has since climbed up the ladder and is highly regarded both inside and outside of the club.
There will be big shoes to fill nevertheless, with Edwards having proved masterful at generating profit for the club through transfers, with Philippe Coutinho’s £142 million move to Barcelona a notable highlight.
But there was also Brad Smith and Jordon Ibe joining Bournemouth in 2016 for a combined £18 million.
Liverpool’s succession plan in Ward, however, does suggest the departure had been expected.