Michael Edwards breakthrough as 'face-to-face' talks held over Liverpool return

Liverpool's owners have held face-to-face talks with Michael Edwards in America over a potential return to Liverpool.

Edwards spent a decade at Liverpool in various roles, including as sporting director and is highly regarded for the part he played in much of the club's best recruitment business of the modern era.

The 44-year-old is credited with overseeing the arrivals of the likes of Mohamed Salah, Virgil van Dijk, Alisson Becker and many more players who helped usher in a golden era for Liverpool, while he also built a reputation for getting the best value from outgoing transfers.

His exit in 2022 came as something of a shock and the Reds have gone through two sporting directors (first Julian Ward and then Jorg Schmadtke on an interim basis) in the two years since.

It has previously been reported that Liverpool's FSG owners had approached Edwards over a return to the club in the post Jurgen Klopp era. However, it was thought that the transfer chief was reluctant to return to club football, working now as a consultant for Ludonautics, the company he set up with Ian Graham, Liverpool’s former director of research.

The Times now reports that Edwards held "face-to-face talks" with FSG in America last week following the annual owners’ meeting in Florida.

The talks are described as a "significant development", with FSG looking to convince Edwards to take on a role "above his previous job as sporting director".

Michael Edwards' Liverpool talks - key points:

  • Talks held with FSG in America last week
  • Edwards role would be above sporting director
  • Richard Hughes a candidate for SD
  • Decision from Edwards expected soon
  • Xabi Alonso still frontrunner for manager's job

It is made clear that if Edwards were to return, he would be the one to select the sporting director. The Times' report notes that he "has a high regard" for departing Bournemouth technical director Richard Hughes.

The two spent time together at Portsmouth earlier in their careers and recent reports claim Hughes already knows his next project after his exit from the Cherries at the end of the season was announced.

The Times' report adds that clarity on Edwards' decision to return to Anfield or not is "expected soon", with the appointment clearly pivotal in FSG's plans to set up a new structure at Liverpool that also involves filling the roles of sporting director and manager ahead of the summer.

Xabi Alonso is named as the "leading candidate" to succeed Jurgen Klopp, despite much recent talk of Bayern Munich's advanced interest in the Bayer Leverkusen boss. However, Ruben Amorim of Sporting CP remains another option.

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