Sporting director 'liked by Liverpool' as Reds hunt for Jorg Schmadtke successor

Liverpool reportedly appreciate Newcastle United sporting director Dan Ashworth as they step up their search for Jorg Scmadtke's replacement. 

Schmadtke was appointed as Liverpool's sporting director last summer, replacing Julian Ward, but has since left the club in February after overseeing two transfer windows during his time at Anfield.

The German was pivotal in Liverpool's midfield overhaul, helping the club recruit Alexis Mac Allister, Dominik Szoboszlai, Wataru Endo and Ryan Gravenberch - three of which came from his old stomping ground the Bundesliga.

However, Schmadtke was only ever seen as a short-term option by Liverpool, with Jurgen Klopp's shock announcement regarding his departure at the end of the season forcing the Reds to speed up their search for a new sporting director.

Plenty of names have been touted with taking over from Schmadtke at Anfield, with journalist Ben Jacobs suggesting that Newcastle's Ashworth is someone "liked by Liverpool."

"I don't see Liverpool returning for Ward because he's left more recently. That's a Manchester United candidate," Jacobs told GIVEMESPORT.

"I don't think Ashworth is beyond the realms of possibility because he's liked by Liverpool. I also think there's less chance that Liverpool will come in for [Paul] Mitchell because they've looked at him in the past and chose not to move. So, it would be surprising if they returned for him."

Ashworth joined Newcastle as sporting director in 2022 and the 52-year-old was involved in signings such as Alexander Isak from Real Sociedad, Sven Botman from Lille and Nick Pope from Burnley.

There's no indication as to whether Ashworth would want to leave Tyneside, especially given the financial firepower of Newcastle following Saudi Arabian investment, but he is a name worth keeping an eye on.

Liverpool had been linked with a sensational return for Michael Edwards but were swiftly shot down, while West Ham United's Tim Steidten has also been suggested to replace Schmadtke.

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