“Liked by Liverpool…” – Journalist says FSG may now move for 52 y/o from Premier League rivals
With this coming summer likely to define the future of Liverpool, the Reds and FSG appear to have their eye on one man who has been vital in the success of a fellow Premier League side.
Liverpool transfer news
After the bombshell of Jürgen Klopp’s departure at the end of the season was revealed last month, it has brought the futures of many of Anfield’s stars into question. Assistant managers Pepijn Lijnders and Peter Krawietz, as well as elite development coach Vitor Matos will leave alongside the German, leaving a number of vacancies on Merseyside.
Sporting director, Jorg Schmadtke also departed at the end of the January window, leaving his desk vacant for the remainder of the season. With the contracts of Mohammed Salah, Virgil van Dijk and Trent Alexander-Arnold all set to expire in the summer of 2025, owners Fenway Sports Group have a lot to do on Merseyside.
Eager to have their next sporting director in place well before the summer window opens, reports have suggested that FSG are looking to their Premier League rivals for the next man to head up their recruitment.
Newcastle chief Ashworth “liked by Liverpool”
Talking to GiveMeSport, journalist Ben Jacobs discussed the potential names in contention for the empty sporting director role at Anfield, admitting that Liverpool like Newcastle United’s Dan Ashworth and a move would not be “beyond the realms of possibility”.
Speaking to the outlet, Jacobs said:
“I don’t see Liverpool returning for Ward because he’s left more recently. That’s a Manchester United candidate. I don’t think Ashworth is beyond the realms of possibility because he’s liked by Liverpool. I also think there’s less chance that Liverpool will come in for Mitchell because they’ve looked at him in the past and chose not to move. So, it would be surprising if they returned for him.”
Ashworth rose to prominence as technical director at Brighton, before leaving the south coast in February 2022 to become sporting director at the Tyneside outfit. Instrumental in Newcastle’s impressive fourth-placed campaign last season, the 52-year-old quickly earned plaudits for a transfer strategy that propelled the Magpies into Europe.
After it was reported late last year that Manchester United were also interested in the services of Ashworth, Newcastle boss, Eddie Howe stressed how important he is to the side, telling the club website:
“He’s connected with everything that goes on in terms of the decision-making at the club. He’s hugely important and has been a really calming influence behind the scenes, his vast experience has really helped”.
With Manchester United also on the lookout for a sporting director, Liverpool could be desperate to get any deal done quickly to avoid the disappointment of losing out to their bitter rivals. Ashworth’s knowledge of the English game and pedigree at the highest level may create a fierce battle to get his signature, as he is thought to be the top target at Old Trafford.
An off-field rebuild at Anfield will likely start with a fresh face in the sporting director’s position. In Ashworth, Liverpool may have a man capable of dealing with big clubs and able to deliver large-scale change in a short timeframe. Whilst Ashworth could be a real coup for the Reds, FSG may have a battle to bring him to the club.