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Irish Mirror
Irish Mirror
Dan Marsh

Liverpool sporting director Julian Ward linked with new role ahead of Anfield exit

Dutch giants Ajax are reportedly keen on appointing Liverpool sporting director Julian Ward as their new technical director once he leaves Anfield in the summer.

It was reported back in November that Ward, who had previously been deputy to the Reds former transfer guru Michael Edwards before replacing him last summer, was set to stand down at the end of the campaign after spending just one season in the role.

Ward is believed to want to take a break from football after spending over a decade working at Liverpool in a wide variety of roles. However, that stance has not deterred Ajax from targeting the highly-rated executive as they seek a permanent successor to Marc Overmars, who left the club last February after admitting he had sent inappropriate messages to female colleagues.

According to De Telegraaf, Ward is one of the candidates currently being considered for the role of technical director. It remains to be seen, though, if the Eredivisie champions would be able to entice the Reds chief, who is multilingual, into taking a role overseas once he leaves Merseyside.

Despite the fact that Ward is set to relinquish his sporting director role in the coming months, he was credited with playing a key role in the deal that saw Luis Diaz arrive at Anfield back in January 2021. Deals for Fabio Carvalho, Darwin Nunez and Cody Gakpo have all occurred on Ward's watch and he was highly-rated by the Liverpool hierarchy.

It was claimed at the time that Ward's decision to leave his role had left figures at the club 'shocked' and 'disappointed'. Various high-profile names have been touted as potential successors but the Reds have yet to confirm their plans to replace him.

Join the debate! Do you think Ward would be a good appointment for Ajax? Let us know here.

Ward, pictured with Jurgen Klopp and FSG president Michael Gordon, has been influential in the transfer market (Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

After dispensing with the services of Alfred Schreuder a fortnight ago, Ajax are seeking a new technical director as part of a rebuild in the wake of an underwhelming 2022/23 campaign.

The reigning Dutch champions have struggled since losing Erik ten Hag to Manchester United and opted to axe his successor, Schreuder, after just six months at the helm following a string of abject performances.

Former Everton defender and Jong Ajax coach Jonny Heitinga has since been moved into the role and is expected to continue until the end of the current campaign. Ajax have been reinvigorated since Heitinga took charge and are currently three points behind leaders Feyenoord after thumping wins over Excelsior and Cambuur.

General manager and former Manchester United goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar explained the decision to temporarily hand the reins to Heitinga. The Dutchman said: "We are convinced that this is the right solution. John has followed a careful and gradual path, which has allowed him to develop very well as a coach in recent years."

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