Julian Ward return rumours ‘strongly denied’ – as Michael Edwards rejects offers

Claims that Julian Ward had returned to work on transfers with Liverpool have been “strongly denied,” with the sporting director position cleared up.

Towards the end of the summer transfer window, it was claimed that Ward had taken up a new position at Liverpool, months after departing.

Anfield Index‘s Dave Davis claimed that the former sporting director had been “involved” again since “mid-August,” inferring that he may have assisted in the signings of Wataru Endo and Ryan Gravenberch.

This came amid concern over the role of Jorg Schmadtke and a lack of activity on the transfer front, with supporters growing wary of his input.

But The Athletic‘s James Pearce has brought word from both Liverpool and Ward, who have “strongly denied” claims he had rejoined the club as a consultant.

Instead, Ward has been “enjoying spending more time with his young family,” having already turned down an approach from Ajax in March.

The 42-year-old is said to be “considering his next move,” with Schmadtke still in place as sporting director for the remainder of the season as Liverpool “consider their options.”

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, October 7, 2018: Liverpool's Director of Football Michael Edwards during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Manchester City FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Another candidate who can be emphatically ruled out is Michael Edwards, who served in the role for over six years before handing over to Ward in 2022.

Edwards has kept a low profile since his departure from Anfield, despite ongoing rumours that he could take over at various clubs including Chelsea and Man United.

According to Pearce, Edwards has “turned down sporting director roles since leaving Liverpool and does not intend to go back down that route.”

Instead he, along with former Liverpool director of research Ian Graham, has moved into consultancy within sport with their new company Ludonautics.

Ludonautics was founded in August with chief technology officer Paul Jackson, with Edwards’ position considered part-time.