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Liverpool appoint Richard Hughes as sporting director

Liverpool have announced the appointment of Richard Hughes as the club’s new sporting director. He will begin his tenure at the end of the 2023/24 season.

The 44-year-old joins the Reds after a successful decade as technical director at AFC Bournemouth, where he oversaw the club’s football operations.

Hughes will officially assume his role at the AXA Training Centre on June 1, working alongside Michael Edwards, who has been appointed Fenway Sports Group’s CEO of Football. 

The pair previously collaborated during Hughes’ playing career at Portsmouth and have maintained a strong friendship. This relationship is expected to be a key asset in navigating the post-Jurgen Klopp era for the club.

Hughes takes over from Jorg Schmadtke, who vacated the sporting director position in January. 

A critical first task for the duo will be identifying a new manager to lead the Merseyside club. Klopp announced that he will leave this summer, sparking a search for a new head coach.

The strongest link has been to Bayer Leverkusen’s Xabi Alonso. The Spaniard has Die Werkself on the way to their first-ever Bundesliga title, and they are also into the knockout round of the Europa League and the semi-final of the DFB Pokal.

Leverkusen are also unbeaten, establishing Alonso as one of the most promising young managers in the game. However, the Reds are not alone in the hunt for his signature, with Bayern Munich targeting him to replace Thomas Tuchel. 

Other managerial options for Liverpool include Sporting CP’s Ruben Amorim, who could claim his second Primeira Liga trophy this summer and Brighton & Hove Albion’s Roberto De Zerbi. Edwards and Hughes have big decisions to make.

Apart from the managerial situation, Hughes and Edwards must address several player contract situations. Mohamed Salah, Virgil Van Dijk, and Trent Alexander-Arnold have contracts expiring in 2025.

Caomhin Kelleher has a deal until 2026 but has been linked with a move away from Anfield, while Thiago Alcantara’s contract expires this summer.

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