Journalist reveals 2 candidates for new Liverpool sporting director

Liverpool’s search for a replacement for outgoing sporting director Julian Ward is said to be “underway,” with two names linked on Monday.

Having only taken over from previous sporting director Michael Edwards last summer, news of Ward’s impending departure came as a surprise in November.

Since then there has been little in the way of concrete information regarding a possible replacement, but the Athletic‘s David Ornstein has now named two candidates.

One is Eintracht Frankfurt’s sporting CEO Markus Krosche, who was previously in a similar role with RB Leipzig between 2019 and 2021.

The 42-year-old has helped develop an Eintracht team that won last season’s Europa League and are now in the last 16 of the Champions League, where they’ll face Napoli this week.

BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - Wednesday, March 10, 2021: Liverpool's Fabio Henrique Tavares 'Fabinho' (R) and RB Leipzig's Dani Olmo during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 2nd Leg game between Liverpool FC and RB Leipzig at the Puskás Aréna. Liverpool won 2-0, 4-0 on aggregate. (Pic by Propaganda)

Krosche was involved in transfers for the likes of Dani Olmo and Christopher Nkunku while at Leipzig, and also had a hand in the sale of Ibrahima Konate to Liverpool.

At Eintracht, his signings include the likes of Jesper Lindstrom and France World Cup striker Randal Kolo Muani, both of whom have been linked to Liverpool in some quarters.

Krosche’s track record in recruitment is certainly an impressive one, and his history as part of the Red Bull set up may also appeal to Liverpool.

His existing deal with Eintracht runs until 2025, but it remains to be seen whether Liverpool will formalise their interest and attempt to prize him away from the club sooner.

The other name linked with the role is Monaco sporting director Paul Mitchell, who Ornstein says “was strongly considered” by Liverpool.

Earlier this month, reports in France stated that Mitchell had decided to leave his role with the Ligue 1 side this summer, but Ornstein claims the Englishman is expected to stay.

He adds that the Monaco president has tasked Mitchell with recruiting his successor, with his current terms to expire in 2024.

The piece also highlights that “the current flux” at some of Europe’s top sides is something Mitchell “is sure to be conscious of,” with plenty of clubs likely to be recruiting figures in similar roles to his in the coming years.

On face value, Mitchell would be a great fit for Liverpool, having forged a strong reputation as head of recruitment at MK Dons, Southampton, Tottenham and RB Leipzig before joining Monaco in 2020.

Last summer he negotiated a move for Takumi Minamino from the Reds, with his other signings including the likes of Kevin Volland, Breel Embolo, Mohamed Camara and Axel Disasi.

The upcoming transfer window is a huge one for Liverpool, and it’s good to hear that the wheels are in motion regarding an appointment for a vital role.