Julian Ward will quit as Liverpool’s sporting director at the end of the season.
The news will come as a major blow to the Reds as he prepares to leave after just one campaign in charge. It is understood that Ward wants a break from football. He had previously worked under Michael Edwards, the former sporting director at the club.
Liverpool bosses are understood to be disappointed but are not concerned he will move to another club. It is the latest development at the club after it was revealed earlier this month that the club’s owners FSG are willing to sell the club earlier this month.
Ward has been at the club since joining from Manchester City in 2012. He was working closely with Edwards on the transition to take over from last November when it emerged he would take over.
Edwards left the club in the summer and has since turned down numerous job offers to work elsewhere. Liverpool will now evaluate their options ahead of finding a replacement.
Billy Hogan, the CEO who has taken on more responsibility since Mike Gordon stepped back earlier this month, will be involved in the plan to find a successor and review how the sporting set up operates at the club.
Jurgen Klopp will also be part of the process. The Kop boss is contracted at the club until 2026 after he penned a new deal towards the end of last season. Ward’s role at Liverpool when he joined a decade ago was as European scouting manager for Portugal and Spain.
He led negotiations for Liverpool’s last two major acquisitions of Luis Diaz and Darwin Nunez from Portuguese sides Porto and Benfica. The Reds stole a march on Tottenham to land Diaz last January after Klopp and his coaches pushed for his signing.
Klopp was also keen to land Nunez in the summer in a deal that could reach £85m. Ward will continue in his role until the end of the season and will work on current transfer targets. Liverpool face stiff opposition from Manchester City and Real Madrid in their pursuit of Jude Bellingham. (DailyStar)