Liverpool sporting director Julian Ward is set to leave at the end of the season, six months after replacing Michael Edwards. The Reds are searching for a successor.
Liverpool have shocked everyone with the news that sporting director Julian Ward has decided to leave the club at the end of the season, with the Reds having reluctantly accepted his resignation.
Ward has only been in the position for less than six months, having only taken over Michael Edwards at the end of last season, and oversaw the signings of Luis Díaz and Darwin Núñez and the contract extension of Mohamed Salah. Ward will have been at Anfield for 11 years in total by the summer of 2023.
Edwards was in the sporting director position for six years, but Ward has left Liverpool in an uncertain position by announcing that he intends to walk away from the club at the end of the campaign, to take a break from football entirely.
So who could replace Ward? The Liverpool hierarchy are set to assess the situation and work out what is best, but Liverpool.com has picked out some of the options that Chelsea have been looking at recently.
The Express reported them as being on a ‘five-man Chelsea shortlist’ in September and perhaps they could potentially be interesting for the Reds.
Luís Campos (Paris Saint-Germain)
Luís Campos only joined Paris Saint-Germain last summer in a similar role, and so it would be difficult for Liverpool to prise him from the French club’s grasp, especially with the Parisians having more spending power than the Reds at present.
Monchi became somewhat of a sporting director legend during his first stint in Seville, unearthing a host of gems and selling them for enormous amounts of money. His stint at Roma was disastrous however, and his return to Sevilla hasn’t produced the same results as his first spell.
Lee Congerton (Atalanta)
Congerton only joined Atalanta in March 2022 as their new director of ‘sporting development’. The Welshman actually has a past with Liverpool, having been on the coaching team during the Gerard Houllier and Rafa Benitez era. He left the club for Chelsea in 2005.
Rui Pedro Braz (Benfica)
Pedro Braz has been Benfica’s sporting director since 2021, and was responsible for signing Argentine midfielder Enzo Fernandez, who has become one of the most sought-after talents in the game.
Victor Orta (Leeds)
Spaniard Orta has been sporting director at Leeds since the summer of 2017, and played a role in their promotion back to the top flight after 16 years. Orta is also responsible for hiring, and later firing, Marcelo Bielsa.