Liverpool have confirmed that sporting director Michael Edwards will step down from his role at the end of the season.
Edwards joined the Reds as head of analytics back in 2011 and since then has helped guide the club's massively-successful recruitment strategy; one that has helped them win the Champions League and Premier League in recent years.
There has been speculation over his future for some time, with reports suggesting that Newcastle United's new ownership are targeting him for a role.
Now, his departure is official with the club confirming his exit on Wednesday afternoon.
"Liverpool Football Club has today announced future changes to the structure of its football operations leadership, with the news that Michael Edwards will step down as sporting director at the end of this season," a statement read.
"The 42-year-old has given notice to the club’s ownership of his wish to pursue a new challenge when his contract ends, allowing for a carefully managed and orderly transition to take place.
"Julian Ward, currently assistant sporting director, will be promoted after Edwards’ departure, taking on the more senior role. The 40-year-old previously held the position of director of loan management.
"Other senior members of Liverpool’s football operations department will remain and will continue to be integral to setting and implementing the club’s football strategy."
Edwards added: "To be part of this club during this period has been a privilege due to the people I have been fortunate enough to work with and the success we have enjoyed.
"I had always planned to cap my time at the club to a max of 10 years. I’ve loved working here, but I am a big believer in change. I think it’s good for the individual and, in a work setting, good for the employer, too. Over my time here we have changed so many things (hopefully for the better) but someone new brings a different perspective, new ideas and can hopefully build (or change) on the things that have been put in place beforehand.
"Julian has been building up the skill set for this role for many years. Last year, he took on the role of assistant sporting director and over the past 12 months he has been introduced to other facets of the role that are vital to its success. I believe he is ideal for the role.
"Over the coming season I will continue to support him as we complete the leadership transition."
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Source : 90min