Ajax 'seal deal' to bring transfer guru Julian Ward to Amsterdam
Ajax ‘seal deal’ to bring Liverpool’s transfer guru Julian Ward to Amsterdam following his shock decision to leave the Merseyside club just months after succeeding Michael Edwards
- Julian Ward announced he is to leave Liverpool after more than a decade at club
- He succeeded previous sporting director Michael Edwards in summer last year
- Ajax’s interest in bringing him in had been well documented for months
Ajax have reportedly sealed a deal to bring Julian Ward to the club as their new sporting director.
Ward, 41, has spent a decade at Liverpool in various roles, currently as sporting director having succeeded Michael Edwards in the role last summer.
However, in November, amid news that the club was being put up for sale, Ward announced he would be departing the club just months after assuming the sporting director role.
Reports began to emerge thereafter of interest from Ajax to bring him to Amsterdam, with Edwin van der Sar, the Dutch club’s CEO, keen to find a long-term replacement for previous incumbent Marc Overmars.
It appears Van Der Sar has finally got his wish, with The Mirror reporting that Ward has sealed his deal to join the Dutch giants in the summer.
The publication report that Van Der Sar was instructed by the Ajax board to reopen negotiations with Ward following an initial approach which failed.
Julian Ward has reportedly sealed his deal to join Ajax this summer after announcing his Liverpool departure last year
The sporting director only assumed his current role last summer but will leave after 12 months
Owing to his time as a South America scout for Manchester City, Ward has strong connections to the continent and has led Liverpool’s tapping into that market in recent years.
Colombian Luis Diaz joined last January from Porto, while Darwin Nunez, a Uruguayan, signed in the summer from Benfica.
Ajax themselves are often a hotbed of talent for South American stars, though much of the club’s legacy and foundation is built upon their oft-thought unrivalled academy system which has produced a number of true greats of the game.
Assuming a new role with the Eredivisie club, it has been said that the role will be similar to that which he currently holds with the Premier League side.
Edwin van der Sar had reportedly been instructed by the club’s board to reopen discussions with Ward
Operating on a much lower financial footing to Liverpool, with the Dutch first division not nearly as attractive as the Premier League to most players, Ajax will be relying on Ward to ensure continued strong performance in the transfer market.
Ajax have endured a tumultuous last 12 months or so, with Erik ten Hag departing for Manchester United at the end of last season and his successor, Alfred Schreuder, losing his job earlier this year after a dire run.
They have recovered their position in the league and are very much in contention to retain their crown having reeled in rivals Feyenoord.
Ward’s appointment is unusual in that he will become the first non-Dutchman to assume the role of sporting director at the club.
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