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Liverpool to ramp up manager search following Hughes appointment

Liverpool will step up their plans to replace manager Jurgen Klopp following the appointment of Richard Hughes as sporting director, according to The Telegraph

Hughes is a highly-rated figure in the talent identification circles. The 44-year-old arrives from Bournemouth and will play a leading role in identifying Klopp’s successor alongside Michael Edwards, who recently returned as CEO of Football for Fenway Sports Group (FSG). 

Edwards previously held the sporting director role but has taken up a bigger job within the FSG family.

Edwards has filled the sporting director position with long-time friend Hughes as they prepare to start the managerial search. 

Hughes has a strong working relationship with Edwards dating back to their time at Portsmouth and is regarded as the ideal candidate to spearhead this crucial process.

Names like Xabi Alonso (Bayer Leverkusen), Roberto de Zerbi (Brighton & Hove Albion), and Ruben Amorim (Sporting CP) have been linked with the Anfield vacancy. 

The Reds haven’t made formal approaches but have begun extensive background checks on their shortlist. 

Hughes’ experience and judgement will be pivotal in selecting the manager best suited to fill Klopp’s legendary shoes.

Besides securing the next manager, Hughes has to navigate contract negotiations with key players like Trent Alexander-Arnold, Virgil van Dijk, and Mohamed Salah, whose deals expire in 2025.

Hughes acknowledged the weight of expectation, saying, “I am fully aware of the expectations and responsibilities that come with taking this position.” 

He emphasised collaboration, stating his intention to work closely with Edwards and the existing football operations team to ensure a smooth transition.

Liverpool fans need to breathe a sigh. The club’s hierarchy appears to have a clear plan in place. 

In Edwards and Hughes, Liverpool have the right men to search for Klopp’s successor. They are meticulous and data-driven operators known for making decisions through well-structured processes.

They will hope to ensure a smooth handover and maintain the club’s position among Europe’s elite.

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