Liverpool sporting director Julian Ward is to leave his role at the end of the season, GOAL can confirm.”
The 41-year-old Julian Ward took over from Michael Edwards in the role in the summer, but has informed the Reds’ hierarchy that he will be stepping down at the end of the current campaign.
GOAL understands the decision has been met with surprise and disappointment within Liverpool, but Ward has made it clear that he intends to take a break from football and that there is no intention of taking a new role immediately following his departure.
Liverpool have no doubts regarding his integrity and character, and therefore his ability to continue in the role between now and the end of the season.
Ward joined Liverpool as their European scouting manager in 2012 having previously worked as South American scouting strategist for Manchester City. He was handed the newly-created role of loan pathways & football partnerships manager in 2015, and after significant success he was then promoted to the role of assistant sporting director in December 2020.
With Edwards confirming his intention to leave at the start of the 2021-22 campaign, it was announced that Ward would take over the role in what Liverpool said would be a seamless transition.
With Edwards preparing a ‘soft handover’, Ward spent much of last season as de facto sporting director. He was, along with chief scout Barry Hunter and head of recruitment Dave Fallows, chiefly responsible for the signing of Luis Diaz from Porto in January, and led negotiations over Mohamed Salah’s new contract, which was signed in July.
He also secured the signing of Darwin Nunez from Benfica, in what could prove to be a club-record deal, and oversaw the departure of Sadio Mane to Bayern Munich, once it became clear the Senegal star had no intention of renewing, and that Jurgen Klopp was open to his exit.