Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says he has not been involved in the club’s talks for a new sporting director, but that the search “is going in the right direction”.
Current sporting director Julian Ward, 41, leaves his position at the end of the season having told he club he wanted to step down last November after more than a decade at Anfield, just months after officially replacing the hugely successful Michael Edwards in the role.
Despite Edwards still being in his role, the Liverpool-born Ward oversaw Liverpool’s moves for Luis Diaz in January 2022 and Darwin Nunez last summer as assistant sporting director.
There have been reports of late that Liverpool are closing in on a successor to Ward, however, Klopp was tight-lipped on the subject when quizzed about it in his pre-match press conference ahead of the club’s Premier League trip to West Ham on Wednesday night.
“I am not involved in the talks,” said the German. “Maybe the talks around, yes, but I am not the person in the club who can give a real answer on where it stands.
“That is in the hands of other people, but from what I have heard, it is all going in the right direction.”
There were some suggestions Liverpool may revisit their current transfer structure having seen both Edwards and Ward leave in quick succession, but Klopp refuted these claims.
“Yes [we will continue with a sporting director],” he confirmed. “How many clubs do not have one now? Pretty much everybody has a sporting director and that is because it makes sense.
“It is nothing to do with how the manager is involved in decisions, or the decision-making, but the process. I do not know how the guys did that in the past, I have no clue, talking around all the agents and all these kinds of things and constantly talking about a pound here and a pound there!
“You need people for that, no chance. And that is why I am happy with the structure, but the guy or lady we get will be absolutely right, but nothing to say at the moment.”
Liverpool are confident the continuity which saw Ward succeed Edwards will again provide them with some stability, underpinned by long-standing senior staff including Dave Fallows [head of recruitment] and Barry Hunter [chief scout] who continue to have central roles.
The Reds are reportedly set to be busy in this summer’s transfer market after a difficult campaign that looks like finishing without Champions League football and have already made a strong pitch to Ryan Gravenberch’s camp to sign the Netherlands midfielder from Bayern Munich.
April 26: West Ham (A) – Premier League, kick-off 7.45pm
April 30: Tottenham (H) – Premier League, kick-off 4.30pm, live on Sky Sports
May 3: Fulham (A) – Premier League, kick-off 8pm
May 6: Brentford (H) – Premier League, kick-off 5.30pm, live on Sky Sports
May 13: Leicester (A) – Premier League, kick-off 3pm
May 20: Aston Villa (H) – Premier League, kick-off 3pm
May 28: Southampton (A) – Premier League, kick-off 4.30pm