Michael Edwards makes huge demand as Liverpool try to lure him back | Football

Edwards with departing Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp (Picture: Getty)

Michael Edwards will demand ‘total control’ of football operations at Liverpool if he is to consider returning to Anfield, according to reports.

The club’s former sporting director left in 2022 after a decade on Merseyside, having overseen the recruitment drive that brought in the likes of Virgil van Dijk and Mohamed Salah and helped end Liverpool’s long wait for a Premier League title.

He opted to take a break from football when he left Anfield and already turned down an approach from the club’s owners, Fenway Sports Group, shortly after Jurgen Klopp informed them he would be stepping down at the end of the season.

Although Liverpool’s search for a successor to Klopp is their top priority, ideally they would like to have a sporting director installed before to make the final decision on the appointment.

Jorg Schmadtke was brought in last summer on a temporary basis at the recommendation of Klopp, but his role ended once the January window closed.

Despite being snubbed by Edwards once already, The Times are reporting that Liverpool have not given up hope of turning his head and will make one final attempt to persuade him to return.

Any deal will hinge on the amount of responsibility Liverpool’s hierarchy are prepared to hand to Edwards, who would require more control than he previously exercised.

Michael Edwards and Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp

It would take a huge offer for Edwards, right, to return to Liverpool (Picture: Getty)

Both he and successor Julian Ward were often superseded in the decision-making process by Klopp, but FSG would now be willing to hand greater authority to Edwards in the post-Klopp era.

Even that may not be enough to lure Edwards back, however, and it would take ‘something significant’ to make him leave his consultancy role with the sports advisory business Ludonautics.

In addition to rejecting Liverpool’s recent overtures, he has also snubbed approaches from other clubs including Chelsea.

FSG, meanwhile, have been looking for a permanent sporting director since Ward stepped down in the summer of 2023.

Schmadtke was only ever a stop-gap, but the profile of sporting director they were looking for when their search first started – namely, someone to work with Klopp – has now changed dramatically.

Instead, FSG are keen to bring in an experienced pair of hands who can take charge of the whole club during a significant period of transition.

Edwards is therefore seen as the ideal candidate, while they also hope the prospect of such a key and influential role in the post-Klopp era would be something that appeals to him.

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