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Michael Edwards wants more control at Liverpool before considering shock return

Michael Edwards (left) - Michael Edwards wants more control at Liverpool before considering shock return
Michael Edwards (left), alongside Jürgen Klopp and Mike Gordon in 2019 - Getty Images/John Powell

Former Liverpool sporting director Michael Edwards will want more control over football operations before considering a shock return to Anfield as the club’s owner, Fenway Sports Group, retain hope of luring him back.

Edwards has already turned down an approach to rejoin the club he left in 2022. However, so highly regarded is he in the organisation, his name remains top of the wanted list to fill the sporting director vacancy.

One of the tools Liverpool may use to try to convince Edwards is that the parameters of the role will be different in the post-Jürgen Klopp era.

When Edwards and his protege Julian Ward – who spent just a year in the job after replacing Edwards – were in position, Klopp’s growing influence ensured that he was the most powerful voice at the club.

That was apparent with several key contract decisions shortly before Edwards left, when it is understood there were robust discussions behind the scenes about the merits and value of some new deals for older players. Ultimately, Klopp’s power was such that the owners would always back their manager.

Liverpool will be operating in a new world this summer, which means there is an opportunity for the next sporting director to assume more power and control. While that might not be enough to bring Edwards back into the fold, it would be a prerequisite for him to keep a dialogue open before Liverpool give up completely.

There are those that believe it is a lost cause persuading Edwards given he insisted his career as a sporting director ended when he left Liverpool.

Since then he has set up his own consultancy called Ludonautics with Liverpool’s ex-head of research, Ian Graham.

On the company website, that is described as “a sports advisory business dedicated to helping sporting organisations improve their decision making capabilities through access to insightful statistical analysis”.

Despite Liverpool searching for a sporting director and manager, the club indicated they have not enlisted the services of their much-admired ex-employees during the current recruitment process.

But Edwards’ name refuses to go away, and as the months pass the situation will become more urgent.

Liverpool have big-name stars such as Virgil van Dijk, Mohamed Salah and Trent Alexander-Arnold who are in the final 18 months of their contract.

Talks on a new deal for Van Dijk are not anticipated until a new sporting director is in place.

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