Premier League • England

Fabrizio Romano confirms Liverpool gunning for Prem raid after exit decision; Michael Edwards role key

Michael Edwards, John W. Henry and Richard Hughes, Liverpool

John W. Henry could land both Michael Edwards and Richard Hughes for Liverpool

Liverpool are firmly interested in sporting director Richard Hughes after the 44-year-old decided to leave Bournemouth, according to Fabrizio Romano.

Liverpool will undergo significant change this year, as they need to bring in a new sporting director after Jorg Schmadtke left the role at the end of the January transfer window. That new director will play a crucial part in appointing the new manager, as Jurgen Klopp has decided to end his glorious Anfield spell this summer.

One potential candidate for the sporting director job is Hughes, the former Scotland midfielder who has built up a good reputation at Bournemouth in recent years.

Liverpool were handed a boost on Tuesday night as it emerged that Hughes will be leaving Bournemouth at the end of the campaign.

Hughes said ‘the future is bright’ for the Cherries after ten ‘challenging, enjoyable and rewarding years’ as technical director.

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Bournemouth owner and chairman Bill Foley added: “I’m very grateful for Richard’s outstanding service to this football club. His contribution in helping to deliver competitive teams for us over the years is no better highlighted than by our status as a Premier League club for seven of the last nine seasons. I wish him the very best for the future.”

Romano has reacted to the announcement by stating that Hughes is a ‘strong candidate’ to become part of the new Liverpool era.

Liverpool have been tracking the former midfielder for several months and are now poised to strike.

Richard Hughes might follow Michael Edwards to Liverpool

Although, Hughes’ final role at Liverpool will depend on the other potential appointments that are announced in the coming months.

On Thursday, David Ornstein revealed that Hughes is most likely to become Liverpool’s new sporting director if transfer mastermind Michael Edwards returns to the club in a higher role. Edwards is a huge fan of the work Hughes has done at Bournemouth.

Edwards himself has been offered the chance to return to Merseyside as Liverpool’s sporting director, a role he did incredibly well in between November 2016 and June 2022. But Ornstein has stated that the Englishman is looking for a bigger challenge.

Richard Hughes’ most expensive Bournemouth signings

Richard Hughes, biggest Bournemouth signings

“Edwards has no interest in being a sporting director again,” the reporter said in a recent Q&A. “It would need to be something higher, more over-arching and stimulating (which would probably see him appoint a sporting director, for example).

“There have been reports that he would demand total control to consider a return to Liverpool. That is not my understanding. He was already offered that by FSG when it made the original approach and he rejected the opportunity — the same with Chelsea, Manchester United and others historically.

“It’s more about how enticing the project and proposition are to him for different and a variety of reasons. Or, ultimately, perhaps he is just happy with his work and life as it is.”

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