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FSG clear Liverpool path for Xabi Alonso appointment after Michael Edwards green light



Fenway Sports Group are closing in on sealing Michael Edwards’ return to Liverpool after holding positive talks with the 44-year-old in the United States last weekend.

Even though the final chapters of Jurgen Klopp’s illustrious nine-year reign as Liverpool manager are still being penned, that hasn’t stopped owners Fenway Sports Group from laying the foundations of what they hope will be an equally as compelling new era at Anfield.

It was back in January when the 56-year-old German made the bombshell announcement that he would be stepping down from his position at the end of the current campaign, despite Liverpool sitting in rude health at the top of the Premier League ahead of both Manchester City and Arsenal, and eyeing a clean sweep of trophies with League Cup, Europa League and FA Cup success.

For owners FSG, who were informed of Klopp’s desire to leave back in November, the early months of 2024 therefore promise to be arguably the most challenging of their 14-year reign on Merseyside as they are tasked with identifying an individual who could fill the shoes of the omnipotent-like Klopp, who has delivered extraordinary levels of success and won both the Premier League and the Champions League since succeeding Brendan Rodgers in late 2015.

It’s a task that FSG chiefs John Henry and Tom Werner will no doubt have dreaded the idea of from the moment Klopp’s captivating personality was first exhibited in the Anfield press room in October 2015, as he addressed the world’s media on his first day in the job and later defined himself as the “normal one”.

In ending three Premier League campaigns with over 90 points, reaching three Champions League finals and adding eight trophies to Liverpool’s historic Champions’ Wall, it’s fair to say what Klopp has achieved over the last nine years has been anything but normal.

Without the riches of Manchester City, Chelsea, Manchester United and on the European scene Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain, such staggering levels of success have been achieved with a huge onus on Liverpool’s scouting department and their capacity to identify a diamond in the rough and excel in player trading as a result.

It’s why the news that Liverpool are confident of luring transfer guru Michael Edwards back to Anfield, after positive face-to-face talks in the United States last weekend, can only be described as a game-changer.

Edwards, who first arrived at the club in 2011 from Tottenham Hotspur, was appointed as the Reds’ first sporting director in 2016 and quickly established himself as one of the finest operators in European football. His notable success stories included deals to sign Virgil van Dijk, Mohamed Salah and Alisson Becker, while his mastery to substantially raise the Anfield transfer kitty was equally as impressive, with perhaps no better example than when pocketed a club-record £142m for the wantaway Philippe Coutinho at the end of a long-standing saga that saw him sign for Barcelona in January 2018.

Indeed, Edwards’ potential return could quickly be followed by the appointment of Richard Hughes as sporting director, who earlier this week announced that he would be leaving his position as technical director of Bournemouth at the end of the campaign.

And should Liverpool complete a remarkable double swoop for both Edwards and Hughes, with the former having reportedly rejected approaches from Manchester United and Chelsea since leaving Anfield nearly two years ago, it would chime sweetly with Klopp’s comments that Liverpool are well-placed to make use of the foundations he has laid.

And for FSG, close to landing two primary targets for significant senior roles at Anfield, it should provide huge optimism for what they can pitch to Xabi Alonso in the coming weeks and months as they look to fend off interest from Bayern Munich and Real Madrid and land the most revered young coach in the European game.

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