Michael Edwards, Liverpool’s sporting director behind signing Mohamed Salah, Virgil van Dijk, Sadio Mane, Alisson and selling Philippe Coutinho for £142m, ‘tells bosses he’s leaving and will step down next summer’
- Liverpool’s sporting director Michael Edwards looks set to leave next summer
- The Athletic claim Edwards has told Anfield chiefs he intends to step down then
- His departure would come as a surprise because of his superb record in the role
- Edwards helped broker the moves for Mohamed Salah, Virgil van Dijk and others
Liverpool sporting director Michael Edwards, the mastermind behind many of the club’s best ever signings, is set to leave next summer, according to reports.
Edwards’ deal will run down at the end of the season and it is said he has already informed Anfield chiefs about his decision to step down after several glittering years.
The Athletic claim that the expectation at Liverpool is that Edwards will indeed quit, a move that would come as a surprise in light of his superb track record in the role.
Liverpool sporting director Michael Edwards (left) will reportedly leave the club next summer
It has also been stressed in the same report, however, that the situation is not yet ‘finalised’, and it is not impossible that Edwards decides to sign a new contract.
But with assistant sporting director Julian Ward having been promoted to work under him last December, the chain of command has already been laid out if he does leave.
No other teams were involved in his choice, the report adds, with Edwards to walk away on good terms and as a respected figure in the game.
Edwards holds a stellar reputation but is said to have already told the club that he plans to quit
Ward, formerly the loan and pathways manager at Liverpool, was promoted off the back of his stellar reputation, and has since taken on more influence.
Meanwhile, Edwards joined the club in November 2011 as their head of performance and analysis, and then became their director of technical performance.
After that, he took on the role as technical director, before then moving on to the sporting director post, which he has held since November 2016.
He enjoys a good connection with supporters, primarily because of his involvement in some of the most recognisable incomings at Anfield.
Widely renowned Edwards (left) took up the sporting director post in 2016 to great success
Part of their ‘transfer committee’, Edwards helped broker moves for Mohamed Salah, Virgil van Dijk, Alisson, Sadio Mane, Andy Robertson and Georginio Wijnaldum.
And, just as adept at banking big fees for outgoings, Edwards was typically hands-on for Philippe Coutinho’s sensational £142million switch to Barcelona.
Seemingly in some of his final acts in his role, Van Dijk, Fabinho, Alisson and Alexander-Arnold’s contracts were extended by Edwards.
As a result of their off-field resurgence, led by Fenway Sports Group and employees such as Edwards, Liverpool were able to end their wait for a Premier League title.
Virgil van Dijk (left) and Mohamed Salah (right) are two of Edwards’ recognisable incomings
Edwards also played a key role in brokering Philippe Coutinho’s £142million Barcelona switch
They also won the Champions League in 2019, and Edwards’ involvement in their glut of trophies over recent seasons has been recognised.
His first steps in football came as an analyst at Portsmouth, managed by Harry Redknapp, in 2003. He then joined him again at Tottenham in 2009.
There, Edwards helped to improve the analysis department, paving the way for their progression into the Champions League. He then went on to move to Liverpool.
Edwards’ best Liverpool moves
Mohamed Salah – £39m
Virgil van Dijk – £75m
Alisson Becker – £65m
Sadio Mane – £30m
Andy Robertson – £8m
Georginio Wijnaldum – £25m
Philippe Coutinho – £142m
Rhian Brewster – £23.5m
Danny Ings – £20m
Dominic Solanke – £19m
Mamadou Sakho – £18m
Danny Ward – £12.5m
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