LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, October 16, 2022: Liverpool's Sporting Director Julian Ward during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Manchester City FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 1-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Julian Ward pulls U-turn on post-Liverpool plans – “No longer interested”

Julian Ward is to leave his role as sporting director at the end of the season, but his post-Liverpool plans have changed after a “surprising development.”

Liverpool’s outgoing sporting director was expected to join Ajax in the summer after it was reported that he had “sealed a deal” after “a breakthrough over financial terms.”

However, on Tuesday, De Telegraaf, a leading source for Ajax and Dutch football news and who originally broke the story, have now reported that Ward is “no longer interested.”

Ward is said to have informed Edwin van der Sar, Ajax’s general manager, of the news “a few days ago.”

The reason for Ward’s U-turn is “not exactly clear,” but De Telegraaf claim that he was “disappointed in Ajax’s decisiveness,” or lack thereof.

With Ajax’s technical director role still needing to be filled, “sources around the club” claim Sven Mislintat, Arsenal‘s former head of recruitment, “already has an offer” for the role.

They’re moving quickly, while Liverpool are still on the hunt for Ward’s successor, and it is “expected to be an external appointment” rather than a promotion from within.

While Ajax is now off the table for Ward, he may yet still take the break that he had been anticipated to enjoy after over 10 years at Liverpool.

He is free to join clubs outside of England, but it is believed the 41-year-old would not be able to take a role in England for the next 12 months.