Jurgen Klopp’s bombshell announcement that he’ll leave Liverpool at the end of the season has raised a lot of questions. Not only are the club on the hunt for a new manager, but they also need a new sporting director.
Xabi Alonso has been hotly-tipped to be appointed as Klopp’s successor, but according to reports Liverpool won’t look to appoint a new manager until they’ve hired a new sporting director. Jorg Schmadtke, who served on an interim basis, left the club at the end of the January transfer window – and now it’s up in the air who will oversee the club’s new post-Klopp era.
We’ve identified five candidates that Liverpool might consider for the role of sporting director.
Reports from France last season suggested that Mitchell had held talks with Liverpool, and he’s currently available after leaving Monaco in October.
The former MK Dons midfielder has made quite the success of his post-playing career, having recruited the likes of Nathaniel Clyne, Maya Yoshida, Paulo Gazzaniga and Steven Davies during Southampton’s rise to the Premier League.
He later joined Mauricio Pochettino at Tottenham, and whilst there helped sign players like Dele Alli, Son Heung-min, Kieran Trippier and Toby Alderweireld.
Mitchell reportedly fell out with Spurs chief Daniel Levy and went on to RB Leipzig, where he recruited Christopher Nkunku, Dani Olmo and Nordi Mukiele.
It’s said that the 42-year-old places a great emphasis on athleticism and stamina when it comes to recruiting players, which would make him a nice fit at Liverpool.
Hiring Steidten would make a long of sense on the Alonso front, given the Germany’s experience of working alongside the Liverpool legend at Bayer Leverkusen.
He appointed the Spaniard in his first senior managerial role and signed a number of the players who are currently shining in Leverkusen’s title-challenging squad.
The 44-year-old was appointed as West Ham’s technical director last summer and went on to bring in the likes of Mohammed Kudus and Edson Alvarez, but it’s believed that there’s friction with David Moyes. A number of outlets report that Liverpool are keen.
“I always believed in the project that we built and today I believe that I leave a better Roma than the one I found on my arrival,” the Portuguese posted on Instagram after his departure from the Stadio Olimpico was confirmed last month.
“We had glorious moments together, we overcame difficult days, and now my time here is at an end, I can only express my gratitude towards all those who supported me from the start.”
The jury’s out on exactly how successful the Pinto and Mourinho era was at Roma – domestic underperformance contrasted with lots of money invested and two European finals – but his record as director of football at Benfica was altogether much more impressive.
Pinto discovered prospects including Ruben Dias, Ederson and Joao Felix whilst at Benfica. The club made colossal profits in the transfer market during his time there.
The former defensive midfielder is highly thought of in Germany. As Paderborn’s sporting director, he oversaw the club’s rise from the third tier to the Bundesliga and later served as Ralf Rangnick’s successor at RB Leipzig.
Krosche, who worked as an assistant coach to Roger Schmidt at Bayer Leverkusen from 2015 to 2017, is currently the sporting director of Eintracht Frankfurt. The club won the Europa League during his first season there and he’s since been tipped to move on to bigger things.
The Athletic’s David Ornstein reports that the 43-year-old is “attracting interest” at Anfield but Krosche has distanced himself from the speculation.
“No, there was no phone call with Klopp. I don’t know where this rumour has come from. It’s speculation. You have to ask the person who wrote it,” Krosche told reporters in Germany.
“I’m here and happy to be at Eintracht Frankfurt. We still have a lot planned and have developed very, very well. There is nothing more to say about it.”
Krosche’s current deal in Frankfurt runs to 2025.
The man thought to be Liverpool’s top priority. Edwards famously helped build Liverpool’s greatest team of the modern era, with an influential role in bringing the likes of Mohamed Salah, Virgil van Dijk, Alisson and Fabinho to Anfield.
Edwards quit Liverpool in 2022, but according to transfer insider Fabrizio Romano the club made a big approach to bring him back. It’s said that he turned them down – while Manchester United are also reportedly interested in his services – but it might be one the club revisit. Track records don’t come any more proven.