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.
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.
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.
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.
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.