KLOPP’S LAST GAME SOUVENIR

3 years or 3 months? – Contrasting claims on Liverpool’s new sporting director

There continues to be contrasting reports on the appointment of Jorg Schmadtke as Liverpool’s new sporting director.

Schmadtke, a 59-year-old who had seemingly retired from football in January, has previously been sporting director at Aachen, Hannover, Koln and Wolfsburg.

The German, known for “recruitment that gets value for the budgets he is assigned,” is widely reported to take up the role at Anfield imminently, with current sporting director Julian Ward leaving this summer.

Ward, who only started in the role last summer after Michael Edwards‘ departure, shocked Anfield bosses by handing in his notice last winter but remains heavily involved in Liverpool’s summer transfer planning.

Now, though, with Schmadtke set to join Liverpool, there are contrasting claims over how long the German will be in the role.

Merseyside reporter Dominic King has written that talks are advanced and that Schmadtke will sign a three-year deal to June 2026, coinciding with when Jurgen Klopp‘s contract expires.

However, Jan Aage Fjortoft, usually a reliable source for German football news, has said that he understands it to be a three-month deal: “Just helping Liverpool out in the coming transfer window!”

06.08.2011,AWD-Arena, Hannover, GER, 1.FBL, Hannover 96 vs TSG 1899 Hoffenheim, im Bild Joerg Schmadtke Sportlicher Leiter von Hannover 96.// during the match from GER, 2.FBL, Hannover 96 vs TSG 1899 Hoffenheim on 2011/08/06, AWD-Arena, Hannover, Germany..EXPA Pictures © 2011, PhotoCredit: EXPA/ nph/ Schrader ****** out of GER / CRO / BEL ******

Fjortoft’s claim would fit in with what other German reporters have said since the news broke in England over the weekend, that Schmadtke’s role will be a temporary one.

A temporary appointment until the right long-term appointment can be made would, of course, make sense.

But whether Schmadtke is in fact the long-term appointment isn’t quite clear as yet.

Already, reports have linked Schmadtke with making his first signing for the club, with an old transfer story about German goalkeeper Ron-Robert Zieler returning to the fore.

Zieler, who was at Man United as a youth player and therefore qualifies as a Premier League ‘homegrown’ player, would arrive as a backup goalkeeper to replace the likely departure of Caoimhin Kelleher this summer.

At age 34, Zieler would also provide experience and a mature head, with Adrian also leaving Liverpool this summer on the expiry of his contract.

The appointment of Schmadtke will at least give some clarity after a season that has seen uncertainty around the owners and the senior management of the club.