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READ 📌 Liverpool clause emerges as transfer chief Julian Ward eyed for next job

Julian Ward has decided to quit Liverpool at the end of the season and the Reds’ outgoing transfer chief has been linked with a move to Ajax, who boast an advantage over Premier League clubs.

 

Ajax have an advantage in securing Julian Ward’s services when he leaves Liverpool this summer, with the Reds blocking him from joining another English club so soon, it’s been claimed.

 

The Anfield transfer chief, who succeeded the highly-rated Michael Edwards less than a year ago as Liverpool’s sporting director, is being eyed by Ajax to take up their vacant role. Since the Dutch giants parted ways with their sporting director, Marc Overmars, last February – after it emerged that he’d sent inappropriate messages to female colleagues – the bigwigs at the Johan Cruyff Arena have used a combination of technical director Gerry Hamstra and advisor of management Klaas-Jan Huntelaar to fill the void.

 

Now, though, De Telegraaf report that Ajax are keen to find a new sporting director, having endured a difficult year since Overmars’ departure which was soon followed by manager Erik ten Hag going to Manchester United. It’s alleged that not only is Ward on the Eredivisie champions’ shortlist, but Ajax are buoyed by a clause in his contract with Liverpool.

 

The ‘non-competition clause’ doesn’t apply to Ajax since they predominant play their football in the Netherlands, as opposed to the Premier League or even one of Europe’s supposed top-five divisions. It’s added that ‘exploratory talks’ have been held between both parties, with Ajax hopeful that they can strike a deal.

 

Ward’s decision to leave Liverpool shocked even the biggest names at the club, namely Jurgen Klopp. “It was a surprise when Julian told me, but we [will] work completely normal together until the day that he leaves,” the Reds boss told Goal in December, shortly after the announcement was made.

 

“Julian is 100 per cent committed and everything is fine. We never had a problem and will not have a problem, so it’s all fine. He told me after the Southampton game [on November 12] and it was a surprise at that moment. That is his decision and that’s okay. It will have no impact for this period, not at all.”Julian Ward (right) surprised Jurgen Klopp with his decision to leave Liverpool

Julian Ward (right) surprised Jurgen Klopp with his decision to leave Liverpool 

Image:

Liverpool FC via Getty Images

With Liverpool yet to confirm a succession plan, club legend Jamie Carragher has weighed in with a downbeat verdict on the predicament which his former side find themselves in. “The timing of Liverpool needing a new sporting director could not be worse heading into a massive summer for the club,” the ex-Reds defender wrote in his column for the Telegraph.

 

“We can see the on-field impact of recent decisions right now because despite a wage bill in excess of £300million a year, too few Liverpool players are in that peak age of 25-28. Fewer still are able to carry the team when the best players such as [Virgil] Van Dijk, [Mohamed] Salah and Trent Alexander-Arnold are off form, or when the injury list is as long as it is.

 

“After all the years of FSG [Fenway Sports Group] fending off interest in players from La Liga giants, on current form there is not one player in Liverpool’s squad who would likely attract a bid from a club of similar standing.

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