Liverpool‘s switch guru Michael Edwards has been the mastermind behind a few of the Reds’ most profitable and albeit genius switch offers since turning into sporting director in November 2016.
Edwards has been pivotal in constructing a aspect that gained the membership’s sixth Champions League trophy, ended their 30-year look forward to the Premier League title and added 4 extra trophies to their cupboard.
He additionally excelled at strategically offloading gamers for sensational charges – squeezing £142million out of Barcelona for Philippe Coutinho which was swiftly invested into Virgil van Dijk and Alisson.
However in a blow to Jurgen Klopp and Co, the sporting director left Anfield earlier this yr and their Premier League rivals are already ready within the wings to snap him up.
Sportsmail revealed that Manchester United and Chelsea are excited about Edwards as the 2 top-flight giants look to strengthen their recruitment operations.
It’s not stunning both aspect are drawn to Edwards given the massive success he had at Anfield and if they’ll safe his providers, they’d be pulling off a serious coup.
Liverpool’s switch guru Michael Edwards (left) was the mastermind behind their finest offers
He was pivotal in constructing a aspect that gained the Premier League and the Champions League
He joined Liverpool in 2011 as head of analytics earlier than various promotions finally noticed him take up the position as sporting director.
His first signing of his first summer season window on the helm of Liverpool’s transfers is arguably his finest as he snapped up Mohamed Salah for £39m. After scoring 156 objectives in 254 the Kop’s Egyptian King has greater than paid for his price ticket.
Edwards later secured Andrew Robertson for a price ticket of £8m which now appears to be like like pennies as his market worth has elevated many occasions over.
He additionally masterminded some typically underrated signings corresponding to Fabinho and Thiago, in addition to kickstarting Liverpool 2.0 by bringing in Luis Diaz because the Reds look to construct for the long run.
Now hailed because the Egyptian King, Mohamed Salah (proper) signed for £39m from Roma in 2017
Andrew Robertson’s £8m transfer from Hull in 2017 is presumably Edwards’ biggest cut price purchase
With soccer typically hinging on the excessive stakes of enterprise transactions as of late, Edwards was strategic available in the market with a trademark of his work being his capability to strategise each the comings and goings at Anfield.
He not solely pulled off a few of the membership’s most profitable signings but additionally sanctioning outstanding gross sales to fund their purchases.
He refused to blink when Barcelona got here calling for Coutinho, till Klopp was able to sanction the sale, by which level the Catalans had already nicely and really proven their hand and Liverpool held all of the playing cards.
The £142m they recuperated from the lack of the Brazilian went on to fund the spine of a Premier League and Champions League-winning aspect – Van Dijk and Alisson.
Edwards additionally secured huge cash from participant gross sales, together with £146m for Philippe Coutinho
From the Coutinho money Liverpool signed each Virgil Van Dijk and Alisson and skyrocketed
Whereas Coutinho could also be the most effective instance, however his different items of enterprise had been outstanding, corresponding to brokering offers value past £40m with Bournemouth for Brad Smith, Jordon Ibe and Dominic Solanke.
He additionally oversaw Kevin Stewart’s £8m transfer to Hull Metropolis in July 2017 – that very same day Robertson arrived from the Tigers for a similar price.
Edwards made £25.38m from offloading controversial Mamadou Sakho to Crystal Palace following the defender’s Anfield saga which included failing a UEFA medication check and explosive fallings out with Klopp.
EDWARDS’ BIG DEALS
Mohamed Salah – £39m
Virgil van Dijk – £75m
Alisson Becker – £65m
Sadio Mane – £30m
Andy Robertson – £8m
Georginio Wijnaldum – £25m
Philippe Coutinho – £146m
Rhian Brewster – £23.5m
Danny Ings – £20m
Dominic Solanke – £19m
Mamadou Sakho – £18m
Danny Ward – £12.5m
He was additionally key in Liverpool’s technique of participant retention final summer season, which has seen the membership tie down Van Dijk, Alisson, Fabinho, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Robertson and captain Jordan Henderson.
Naturally, Edwards hasn’t had an ideal observe report however the variety of successes strongly outweighs the flops.
Takumi Minamino for £7.25m and Naby Keita for £52.75m come to thoughts as amongst Edwards’ much less profitable enterprise ventures however contemplating they’re each Premier League champions they presumably cannot be classed as failures.
After a number of dazzling years at Anfield, Edwards’s masterstrokes of transfers have rightfully garnered him reward and a stellar status – one which is little question liable for the curiosity of United and Chelsea.
Membership chairman Tom Werner claimed Edwards’s reign had been instrumental in Liverpool’s success as he paid tribute to the sporting director.
‘I need to acknowledge Michael’s reign as sporting director. It should finish after Paris. He is been instrumental,’ Werner informed The Athletic.
‘You could possibly level to participant after participant who was recognized earlier than they grew to become superstars. Going again to Mohamed Salah, Michael recognized him.
‘He is very quiet about the way in which he goes about his enterprise however he is actually been important to our success. We’re competing towards golf equipment who spend huge quantities of cash on transfers. One among Michael’s right methods as soon as we have recognized gamers is ensuring there’s an extension of these contracts.’
On the lack of his backroom genius Klopp claimed the membership had been lucky and blessed to have had Edwards work with them.
Klopp stated: ‘I want Michael and his fantastic household all the most effective, for no matter they select to do subsequent.
‘I do know he is not leaving instantly or in haste, which is cool, so we nonetheless have a while to work collectively. If we’re as lucky and blessed as we have now been to date, possibly we are able to create extra particular recollections for our membership on this remaining time.’
Supervisor Jurgen Klopp insisted Liverpool had been lucky and blessed to work with Edwards
‘He has been a continuing presence throughout my interval at LFC and his contribution to our success is obvious for everybody to see.’
Final yr, Jamie Carragher claimed he feared for the way forward for the membership ought to Edwards and Klopp go away Merseyside.
‘Over the previous six years, Liverpool have been among the many best-run golf equipment in world soccer,’ stated Carragher within the Telegraph.
‘However I’ve a nagging worry. How lengthy can they preserve beating the system to problem for the Premier League and Champions League?
‘With sporting director Michael Edwards delaying extending his contract past this season, and Klopp unlikely to remain past 2024, many supporters are questioning if Liverpool’s success is regardless of their enterprise mannequin somewhat than due to it; the product of wonderful people somewhat than an incredible plan. […]
Jamie Carragher claimed he feared for the way forward for the membership as soon as Edwards leaves
‘Ought to Edwards not renew his deal, does FSG have a lot religion of their mannequin that replacements can slot into place and preserve the engine working?
‘You may perceive why supporters worry Klopp and to some extent Edwards are irreplaceable.’
One other membership legend, Steven Gerrard, has hailed the switch guru, insisting Reds followers adore Edwards.
The Aston Villa boss informed BT Sport in Might: ‘I do not suppose that he has had sufficient credit score outdoors of Liverpool, however clearly being within the metropolis and spending quite a lot of time over time round Michael, make no mistake, the Liverpool followers adore him and actually recognize the position that he has performed.’
He joined Liverpool in 2011 as head of analytics earlier than turning into sporting director in 2016
In the meantime, former United defender Rio Ferdinand claimed Edwards had solely made two errors available in the market throughout his Anfield reign.
Talking on hellos YouTube channel in March, Ferdinand stated: ‘The recruitment, the gamers are available in and so they hit the bottom working.
‘They do not get many unsuitable you recognize, Minamino could be one, however he scored the opposite day…
‘However Minamino might be one the place you say you could possibly get extra out of him.
‘[Naby] Keita possibly as nicely, however after that, [Kostas] Tsimikas is available in and performs nicely, they only get it proper.’
Naby Keita (left) and Takumi Minamino (proper) may very well be thought of amongst Edwards’ few flops
If United and Chelsea are profitable of their makes an attempt to grab up the switch genius, they may stand to inherit a director with spectacular pedigree.
Nevertheless, whether or not Edwards decides to decide to one in all Liverpool’s top-flight rials or if he’ll swimsuit both membership stays to be seen.
United are within the midst of revamping their recruitment set-up, work which is being led by soccer director John Murtough.
And a number of sources declare that Edwards is of curiosity to the new-look Outdated Trafford regime as they proceed to overtake their switch crew.
It’s unclear if Edwards can be open to becoming a member of United given his ties to arch-rivals Liverpool and in that case how nicely he would get together with the membership hierarchy.
The membership’s construction is in slight disarray presently with senior scouts Jim Lawlor and Marcel Bout together with director of negotiations Matt Decide leaving.
The scouting division is reportedly being led by Steve Brown, who stories to John Murtough.
John Murtough (left) heads all of Mam United’s soccer operations and has a switch veto
Brown and Murough, together with new supervisor Erik ten Hag, are stated to have vetoes on potential targets, in keeping with ESPN.
Edwards is alleged to have clashed with former Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers over potential offers and the Northern Irishman would typically over-wield his veto card.
Rodgers noticed Edwards as a risk to his authority, in keeping with The Athletic, and reportedly pushed by the signing of Mario Balotelli towards the Reds’ switch committee’s needs.
And Edwards could not need to revisit working underneath such a strict veto tradition once more.
Brendan Rodgers reportedly noticed Edwards and the switch committee as a risk at Liverpool
Moreover, Murtough is alleged to be now heading the entire membership’s soccer operations with Andy O’Boyle named United’s deputy soccer director, offering assist to Murtough. It’s unclear if there’s any house for Edwards inside United’s hierarchy.
United are positive to current a problem for Edwards to get caught into if he does make the transfer down the M64.
The Crimson Devils are in dire want of a whole overhaul this summer season and Ten Hag appears to be like to start his rebuild.
Whereas presenting the chance to be a part of an formidable mission at Outdated Trafford, Edwards would definitely be pushed to the restrict and given he’s stated to be hesitant about becoming a member of any membership this summer season, after leaving Liverpool this summer season with a view to taking a break from the sport, United’s state of affairs may show to be a deterrent.
Erik ten Hag is seeking to start his Outdated Trafford rebuild with an overhaul wanted at United
In the meantime, it’s stated Chelsea have additionally approached Liverpool’s ex-transfer guru.
It’s understood that Chelsea’s new homeowners, Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital, have explored the opportunity of appointing Edwards to a senior recruitment place after confirming the departure of long-serving director Marina Granovskaia, who managed the membership’s switch negotiations.
Boehly himself is about to behave as interim sporting director throughout the seek for a successor while Granovskaia will nonetheless advise the west London membership between now and the tip of the summer season switch window.
Granovskaia has been as essential to Chelsea’s switch operations as Edwards has to Liverpool’s, swiftly cementing herself because the ‘First Woman of Soccer’.
Chelsea’s new homeowners (above Todd Boehly) explored the opportunity of appointing Edwards
The Russian-Canadian saved a comparatively low profile at Stamford Bridge, prefering to function from the shadows, equally to Edwards, who’s famend for avoiding the media and shunning the limelight.
Harry Redknapp, who had been Portsmouth supervisor when Edwards acquired his huge break there, described him as ‘a really inoffensive, quiet man’.
‘He is not essentially the most stereotypical soccer director,’ Redknapp informed The Athletic. ‘The truth is, he’s most likely essentially the most un-stereotypical.
‘You will not typically see him in a swimsuit. He is not a go-getting, big-personality form of man. You take a look at him, he used to have this spiky hair… a really inoffensive, quiet man. You’d most likely suppose he must be standing behind the purpose.’
Given their comparable quiet natures, Edwards may very well be the proper match to step straight into Granovskaia’s sneakers.
Edwards may very well be the proper substitute for long-serving director Marina Granovskaia
In the meantime, with Chelsea already possessing a aspect that boasts a number of World Class expertise, the mission at Stamford Bridge would solely require just a few tweaks – in contrast to the foremost overhaul wanted at Outdated Trafford.
And, from a monetary perspective, Edwards would possible be given freedom over his targets.
Chelsea is extra possible to offer a simple begin to life post-Liverpool and an enormous distinction to United.
It stays to be seen the place Edwards subsequent vacation spot is – United, Chelsea or the moer well-deserved choice of the seashore – however one factor is obvious wherever he finally ends up he’ll head there with a stellar status in tow.