Man Utd's Dan Ashworth decision could set ex-Liverpool man up for move to Premier League rival

There is a possibility of a merry-go-round effect regarding Premier League sporting directors, with former Liverpool transfer chief Michael Edwards lined up by one of the Reds' rivals.

Liverpool are on the hunt for a new sporting director ahead of the summer after Jorg Schmadtke departed his interim role at the end of the January window.

The announcement of Schamdtke's exit followed the news of Jurgen Klopp's surprise decision to stand down. Schmadtke, who had been appointed on a short-term contract at the start of last summer, following Julian Ward's resignation, had described himself as an 'assistant' to Klopp.

It is expected that Liverpool's FSG hierarchy will look to put in place a new permanent sporting director before appointing Klopp's successor.

The job of a sporting director has been a pivotal one in modern, elite-level football, with the role typically responsible for helping set the team philosophy as well as heading up the recruitment and squad planning.

Liverpool, however, are not the only club on the lookout for new SD.

Manchester United too, who are undergoing a revamp as part of the partial takeover by Sir Jim Ratcliffe and INEOS, are also on the hunt for a new transfer chief and reports claim the Red Devils are close to bringing in Dan Ashworth from Newcastle.

The highly regarded 52-year-old, who has also worked at Brighton as well as with the FA, had previously been touted as an option for Liverpool. However, the Mail reports that United could tie up a deal to bring Ashworth to Old Trafford as early as next week.

Dan Ashworth file photo File photo dated 20-05-2019 of new Newcastle sporting director Dan Ashworth, who has started work on Tyneside after the club received Premier League approval for his appointment. Issue date: Monday June 6, 2022. FILE PHOTO FILE PHOTO PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxUKxIRL Copyright: xGarethxFullerx 67310846

Where do Liverpool come in?

According to the Mail, should United wrap up their move for Ashworth, Newcastle could then turn to popular former Liverpool chief Edwards.

Edwards left Liverpool in 2022, after a much-lauded 11-year stint at the club, during which he held the role of sporting director for over five years.

He is credited with much of the Reds' shrewdest business during the the club's golden period under Klopp, facilitating the signings of players like Mo Salah, Alisson Becker, Virgil van Dijk and more, as well as earning a reputation for getting the best value from sales.

The Mail claims Edwards, who started an advisory firm alongside Liverpool's ex-director of research Ian Graham after leaving Anfield, is 'likely to emerge as a candidate' at Newcastle.

Meanwhile, Bournemouth’s current technical director Richard Hughes — another name linked with Liverpool in recent weeks — could also be considered.

The idea of seeing a revered figure like Edwards at rival club would be a blow to many Liverpool fans.

It was reported last month that FSG approached Edwards about coming back to Anfield in more senior position to help oversee the transition after Klopp's exit, but the idea was rejected.

Whether he would be more open to a role at another club remains to be seen.

In addition to Edwards, Ashworth and Hughes, the likes of Tim Steidten (West Ham) and Tiago Pinto (most recently at Roma) have also been suggested as potential options to take up the reigns at Liverpool as the next sporting director.

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