Premier League • England

Liverpool open talks with transfer guru after £60m signing wows Klopp and green light is granted over deal

Jorg Schmadtke Liverpool

Liverpool sporting director Jorg Schmadtke

Liverpool plan to open talks with Jorg Schmadtke after Jurgen Klopp gave his blessing to an extension of his contract, having been wowed by a series of his countryman’s transfer business.

The Merseysiders are very much firmly in this season’s title hunt, having last held aloft the Premier League trophy in 2020, with that success bringing an end a 30-year wait for Liverpool. Indeed, the Reds have enjoyed one of the most-successful periods in their history under their much-loved boss Klopp, who has also steered the club to four major European finals too, winning the Champions League in 2019.

While much of Liverpool’s success has been down to the German’s expert coaching, tactical awareness and brilliant man-management, the club also owes a great debt to the brilliance of long-serving sporting director Michael Edwards, who left the Merseysiders after a 10-year spell in May 2022.

Indeed, it was Edwards who negotiated the club-record £132m sale of Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona in January 2018 and whom used the funds to sign Virgil van Dijk and Alisson Becker. And having also brought famed front three Mo Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane to Anfield, Edwards’ place in Anfield folklore is also assured.

Replacing Edwards though has been far from easy for the Reds, who initially gave the role to Edwards’ deputy, Julian Ward.

Ward, however, was to last just one season, with his exit leaving Klopp scrambling around for a replacement; the situation becoming all the more urgent as Liverpool waved farewell to six midfielders and set about using the summer window to rebuild their engine room.

As a result, Liverpool turned to former Cologne and Wolfsburg sporting director Schmadtke, albeit on an initial one-year deal.

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Klopp won over after Dominik Szoboszlai deal

The 59-year-old’s brief was simple: help Klopp identify and sign a range of new midfielders who could not only replace a number of fading stars, but also help push the Reds towards trophy contention again.

To that end, Schmadtke has certainly delivered, helping the Reds sign Alexis Mac Allister, Dominik Szoboszlai, Watara Endo and Ryan Gravenberch for a combined £145.2m.

Indeed, all four players have made their impact felt for Liverpool – who currently top the Premier League table – with no one having a bigger impact than the uber-talented Szoboszlai.

The Hungarian has proved a huge success – just as well given he cost the Reds a £60m fee when buying him out of his deal at RB Leipzig. Scoring four goals and adding two assists from 26 appearances so far, the 23-year-old has adjusted really well to English football since the move.

A signing at the insistence of Schmadtke – the same can also be said for Endo, who after a slow start has become more of a regular under Klopp – the German sporting director has thankfully passed his own personal test with his own signings flourishing at Anfield.

However, with his deal due to expire in the summer, Klopp has now given the green light for Liverpool to open talks over an extended stay for Schmadtke, having been hugely impressed with his work.

Klopp pushing Liverpool to extend Jorg Schmadtke deal

Revealing that talks are due to commence in ‘February or March’ over an extended stay, trusted German journalist, Christian Falk, of BILD, claims Schmadtke has very much earned Klopp’s trust and respect.

“Liverpool is firmly in German hands again,” Falk said.

“As far as Liverpool are concerned, Jorg Schmadtke is the transfer expert and friend of Jurgen Klopp and supposed to conduct transfer business until the end of the transfer window.

“Schmadtke has a contract until the summer as sporting director but that ends at the end of June, i.e. before the next transfer window. That’s why, according to my information, they will perhaps sit down in March or February and discuss whether things should continue.

“The fact is, Klopp trusts Schmadtke and if they are definitely still together, they will see what they can get on the table and maybe strike another agreement again.”

In the meantime, Schmadtke’s next priority is likely to be on the signing of a new centre-half, with Klopp keen to bring in a left-sided option that would see the ever-impressive Van Dijk moving to the right side of central defence.

While a January move looks unlikely – though Liverpool have been strongly linked with Sporting’s Goncalo Inacio – Schmadtke will likely have a strong say and influence on whom they ultimately land upon.

To be fair to the 59-year-old, he implored Liverpool to sign Micky van de Ven from Wolfsburg, only for the Reds’ midfield needs taking priority and allowing Tottenham to nip in for his €40m signing.

Their loss has very much been Spurs’ gain, with the Dutchman proving one of the Premier League’s best defenders this season before suffering a cruel hamstring strain on November 6.

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