Liverpool confirm transfer guru Michael Edwards to go as Newcastle links heat up

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Liverpool have confirmed sporting director Michael Edwards will leave the club at the end of the 2021/22 campaign.

The Reds chief has been a key member behind the scenes during Jurgen Klopp’s reign at Anfeld, having held the post since November 2016.

Since Eddie Howe’s appointment as manager at Newcastle, Edwards has been linked with the Magpies, who have a wealth of cash to invest in their squad.

Edwards, whose contract with Liverpool is due to expire at the end of the season, must now choose where his future lies as he looks for a new challenge.

However, it is understood that Liverpool chiefs do not believe Edwards is heading to Newcastle, despite the increased links.

Edwards is poised to be replaced at Anfield by Julian Ward, currently assistant sporting director.

Ward will be promoted after Edwards’ departure, taking on the more senior role.

The 40-year-old previously held the position of director of loan management.

He will take on Edwards' list of responsibilities which include player identification, acquisition, retention and sales.

In an open letter to supporters, Edwards said: “To be part of this club during this period has been a privilege due to the people I have been fortunate enough to work with and the success we have enjoyed.

Who was Michael Edwards' best and worst signings during his time as Liverpool sporting director? Let us know in the comments section.

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“I had always planned to cap my time at the club to a max of 10 years. I’ve loved working here, but I am a big believer in change. I think it’s good for the individual and, in a work setting, good for the employer, too. Over my time here we have changed so many things (hopefully for the better) but someone new brings a different perspective, new ideas and can hopefully build (or change) on the things that have been put in place beforehand.

“Julian has been building up the skillset for this role for many years. Last year, he took on the role of assistant sporting director and over the past 12 months he has been introduced to other facets of the role that are vital to its success. I believe he is ideal for the role.

“Over the coming season I will continue to support him as we complete the leadership transition.”

Meanwhile, boss Klopp reacted to the news by saying: “I wish Michael and his wonderful family all the best, for whatever they choose to do next.

“I know he isn’t leaving immediately or in haste, which is cool, so we still have some time to work together. If we are as fortunate and blessed, as we have been so far, maybe we can create more special memories for our club in this remaining time.

“He has been a constant presence during my period at LFC and his contribution to our success is clear for everyone to see.

“I have complete trust in Mike Gordon and the wider ownership group in their vision for what comes next. Julian and I have worked closely since he became loans and pathway manager, plus even more so in his wider role during the past 12 months.

“We have so many brilliant people here, all of whom contribute to what we have achieved and I have nothing but confidence we will continue to develop, progress and improve as an organisation.”

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