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Michael Edwards explains why he agreed to Liverpool return after private talks with Man Utd

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Former Liverpool sporting director Michael Edwards has previously been sought after by the likes of Manchester United, but he’s now agreed to return to Anfield in a new role.

Michael Edwards highlighted the “desire and persistence” shown by Fenway Sports Group as one of the driving factors behind his return to Liverpool.

Edwards played an influential role at Anfield prior to resigning from his role as sporting director almost two years ago. He has now been enticed back by the club’s ownership group to spearhead the post-Jurgen Klopp era after weeks of speculation.

The appointment of Edwards, who will become FSG’s new chief executive officer of football, is regarded as a major coup for a club who will lose their figurehead when Klopp leaves at the end of the season. It’s understood Edwards rebuffed Liverpool’s initial approach but the prospect of having a broader remit, coupled with FSG’s dogged determination, persuaded him to accept FSG’s latest proposal.

Speaking on Tuesday afternoon, Edwards explained the rationale behind his return, saying: “I am very grateful to Mike [Gordon], John [Henry], Tom [Werner] and the ownership group for offering me the opportunity to take on this new leadership role within FSG. I was humbled by the desire and persistence they showed in wanting to work with me again. This is definitely not something I can take for granted given their track record across sport and business.

“It was vital for me that, if I did return, it had to be with renewed vigour and energy. In practice, this means having fresh challenges and opportunities.

“As such, one of the biggest factors in my decision is the commitment to acquire and oversee an additional club, growing this area of their organisation. I believe that to remain competitive, investment and expansion of the current football portfolio is necessary.

“With Liverpool FC, I will oversee the required reinforcement of football operations, with several essential leadership positions needing urgent attention. I know from personal experience what a wonderful job Mike Gordon has done with day-to-day oversight on behalf of his fellow owners.

“Going forward I’m looking forward to working with FSG’s Board of Managers. Also, in assuming this role, I fully understand that it comes with great expectations, and I therefore intend to identify, hire, and subsequently empower leaders who meet and embody the club’s values and ambitions.”

Despite interest in his services from some of England’s biggest clubs in recent years, it has been outlined on more than one occasion that Edwards had no interest in taking on another sporting director role. He instead launched Ludonautics, a football advisory firm, alongside his former Liverpool colleague Dr Ian Graham last year.

Edwards’ stance didn’t exactly deter some suitors, though. The Telegraph has confirmed that both Manchester United and Chelsea launched attempts to bring Edwards in, only for him to rebuff such approaches after talks. Liverpool have also tried to lure him back on two separate occasions without success.

It has been announced that Edwards will start his new role on June 1st. He will replace Mike Gordon as the person overseeing the day-to-day running of Liverpool and will be tasked with appointing the club’s next manager.

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