Premier League • England

First Michael Edwards deal revealed as Liverpool strike gold with returning hero

Liverpool chief Michael Edwards

Michael Edwards' first order of business upon returning to Liverpool has been revealed

Liverpool have succeeded with a last-ditch attempt to lure Michael Edwards back to the club, and the first deal he’ll make has been revealed.

Edwards, 44, left Liverpool in 2022 after presiding over an incredibly successful 11-year stint at Anfield. Edwards last operated as the club’s sporting director and was heralded for his masterful navigation of the transfer market.

The likes of Andy Robertson, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah were all signed on his watch for what proved to be bargain fees.

Furthermore, Edwards was the mastermind behind funnelling the £142m Liverpool received when selling Philippe Coutinho towards deals for Alisson Becker and Virgil van Dijk. Without Edwards, it’s fair to say Liverpool’s wait for a first Premier League title might still be ongoing to this day.

Edwards vacated his role in 2022 and according to the Telegraph, departing Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp was partly to blame.

They stated Klopp’s influence behind the scenes had grown as time wore on. As such, when it came time for owners FSG to side with Edwards or Klopp when a key decision needed to be made, they invariably went with the German.

Edwards was replaced by his protégé Julian Ward who was subsequently succeeded by Jorg Schmadtke. However, quietly going under the radar amid Klopp’s bombshell announcement he’ll leave Liverpool was the news Schmadtke left the club at the conclusion of the last January window.

FSG always intended to appoint a sporting director before finalising a deal for Klopp’s successor. An attempt was made to re-hire Edwards, though Liverpool were knocked back.

Fabrizio Romano subsequently broke news of Liverpool making a second and final attempt to lure Edwards back at the start of March. Reports then claimed Edwards would only consider a return if offered a more high-powered and overarching role.

Now, according to Romano as well as the Times’ Paul Joyce, Edwards returning to Liverpool is a done deal.

READ MORE: Ten of Michael Edwards’ best transfer deals at Liverpool: Robertson, Salah, Solanke…

Liverpool seal incredible coup

Joyce led the way, confirming Edwards will return to Liverpool as their ‘head of football.’

In other words, he’s the man who’ll have the final say on all footballing matters at the club and will be responsible for the club’s direction.

Romano quickly backed up Joyce’s reporting, revealing on X: “Michael Edwards has reached an agreement with FSG as he returns to Liverpool as crucial figure to help with new project.

“After initial approach and new attempt revealed in the last two months, it’s now done.”

Bournemouth raid first up

Per Joyce, Edwards’ first order of business will be to finalise the appointment of Richard Hughes as the direct replacement for Schmadtke.

Hughes is currently the technical director at Bournemouth, though it was announced one week ago he’ll leave the Cherries at season’s end. His replacement on the south coast will be former Bournemouth defender, Simon Francis.

Hughes is the man who’ll be more hands-on with Liverpool’s recruitment and will report directly to Edwards.

Romano added an agreement between Hughes and Liverpool is in place, while Joyce clarified it’s now up to Edwards to cross the t’s and dot the i’s.

With Edwards returning and Hughes on the way, attention will now turn to Klopp’s successor.

Bayer Leverkusen’s Xabi Alonso is the man Liverpool want to replace their departing manager and TEAMtalk exclusively learned a three-year contract is on the table.

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