8:01 AM ET
Mark OgdenSenior Writer, ESPN FC
Jurgen Klopp is in line to take on further responsibility for Liverpool's player recruitment next summer, sources have told ESPN, following the surprise departure of sporting director Julian Ward after less than six months in the job.
Ward was elevated to his role at the end of last season after Michael Edwards, the man credited with transforming Liverpool's recruitment policy into the best in Europe, stepped down to take a break from the game.
Sources have said that Ward, 41, is leaving his position for personal reasons and that he will honour a six-month notice period and remain in post until the end of the season.
But with Liverpool's owners, Fenway Sports Group (FSG), now in the process of finding a buyer for the 19-time English champions, sources have said that Ward is unlikely to be replaced by the owners. As such, the club will operate with a manager-led recruitment operation until a new buyer is found.
This would mean that Klopp will have a greater say on Liverpool's transfer incomings and outgoings. Klopp had wanted the club to add a new midfielder to the squad during the summer transfer window amid concerns over the fitness of several players in that area of his squad.
And although FSG did sanction a loan move for Juventus and Brazil midfielder Arthur Melo on transfer deadline day, the 26-year-old has made just one appearance -- a 13-minute outing in the Champions League against Napoli in September -- due to a series of injury problems.
With Klopp extending his contract earlier this until the end of the 2025-26 season, sources have said that the former Borussia Dortmund coach will be expected to ensure stability during FSG's search for a buyer by overseeing the player recruitment department in the absence of a sporting director.