Home News 6 candidates for Liverpool’s next sporting director – including West Ham chief

6 candidates for Liverpool’s next sporting director – including West Ham chief


Liverpool are yet to finalise their search for a new sporting director, but there are a host of candidates already linked or who the club could consider.

Arguably as important as their next managerial appointment, the decision over who will lead Liverpool’s transfer strategy moving forward will be a huge one.

With Jorg Schmadtke vacating his short-term role at the end of January, Fenway Sports Group will be seeking a more permanent solution after the subsequent exits of Michael Edwards and Julian Ward.

Though the search for Jurgen Klopp‘s successor will be played out in the media – regardless of FSG’s insistence that it will be kept under wraps – less may be known of the sporting director hunt.

There are a number of viable candidates, however, not least Tim Steidten, who currently holds the role of technical director at West Ham.

2WHRFPC West Ham United manager David Moyes (right) and technical director Tim Steidten before the Premier League match at the London Stadium. Picture date: Sunday February 11, 2024.

Steidten was already the subject of an approach from Liverpool last summer, This Is Anfield understands, but did not wish to take up a position effectively under Klopp.

With the landscape now changing, and the club’s interest remaining, it will be interesting to see if Steidten’s stance shifts.

Formerly of Werder Bremen and Bayer Leverkusen, the 44-year-old is credited with the appointment of Xabi Alonso for the latter, while his signings include the likes of Jeremie Frimpong, Piero Hincapie and Mohammed Kudus.

Given Alonso is the overwhelming favourite to take over as manager, another notable name for the sporting director job could be Simon Rolfes (pictured as a player below).

05.12.2010,  BayArena, Leverkusen, GER, 1. FBL, Bayer Leverkusen vs 1. FC Koeln, 15. Spieltag, im Bild: Simon Rolfes (Leverkusen #6) gegen Lukas Podolski (Koeln #10) (re.)  EXPA Pictures © 2010, PhotoCredit: EXPA/ nph/  Mueller       ****** out ouf GER ******

Rolfes, 42, recently expressed his belief that Alonso would, in fact, stay at Leverkusen beyond the end of the season – citing their success working together at the German club.

But perhaps Liverpool could poach Leverkusen’s dugout and boardroom in one summer, with Rolfes enjoying a growing reputation first as sporting director and now managing director of sport.

Elsewhere, another candidate who was previously considered but ultimately overlooked is Paul Mitchell, the 42-year-old who has caught eyes at Southampton, Tottenham, RB Leipzig and more recently Monaco.

Mitchell left his position with Monaco in October and has since remained out of work, and there is a sense he would prefer to stay in the north west.

Ramon Rodriguez Verdejo "Monchi" poses for a photo outside the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan stadium, in Seville, Spain. Verdejo, who still goes by the nickname from his goalkeeping days, has become one of the most sought-after football directors in European soccer after revolutionizing Spanish club Sevilla with a scouting system that helped rescue the team from the brink of financial collapse and turned it into a perennial contender in the continent’s second-tiered competitions. (AP Photo/Miguel Angel Morenatti)

Two more domestic-based options are Bournemouth technical director Richard Hughes, who was reported as a “primary candidate” by BBC Sport last month, and Aston Villa president of football operations Monchi (pictured).

Monchi has been widely coveted over the years due to his remarkable work over 21 years at Sevilla – interrupted by a brief spell at AS Roma – but now holds a wider position at Villa.

His early work at Villa is certainly impressive, in tandem with Unai Emery as manager, and as FSG implement a major rebuild, offering Monchi more responsibility could be wise.

23.10.2009, Bayarena, Leverkusen, GER, 1. FBL, Bayer Leverkusen vs Borussia Dortmund, im Bild Rudi Völler (Sportdirektor Leverkusen) und Michael "Susi" Zorc (Manager Dortmund), EXPA Pictures © 2009 for Austria only, Photographer EXPA / NPH / Mueller

Other names who have been loosely linked with the job at Liverpool are Tiago Pinto, who resigned from his post at Roma this month, and former Dortmund chief Michael Zorc (pictured right).

Pinto, 36, is yet to determine his next move, and gained admirers for his previous work at Benfica – including the signing of Darwin Nunez – while Zorc, 62, is currently out of football after 24 years as director of football and sporting director at Dortmund.

At it stands, the most likely candidates would appear to be Steidten and Hughes, and the hope is that an appointment is made sooner rather than later.