'Imminent' - Liverpool set to complete major summer swoop for Newcastle United-linked pair

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Liverpool set to complete double swoop for pair linked with Newcastle United.

Liverpool are reportedly close to reaching an agreement with Michael Edwards in a return that will see the former sporting director oversee the club's football operations.

The Reds are in the midst of a huge transition following Jurgen Klopp’s decision to stand down as manager in the summer, meaning his closest staff are also set to leave. Indeed, sporting director Jorg Schmadtke has already departed.

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The Athletic reports that Edwards' proposed role is with Fenway Sports Group, the owners of Liverpool, but the football club will fall firmly under his remit. And that is likely to see Richard Hughes, who announced he is leaving AFC Bournemouth earlier this week, installed as sporting director.

Meanwhile, Fabrizio Romano claims an agreement with Edwards is "imminent". He posted on X: "Liverpool are close to complete agreement to bring Michael Edwards back to the club after final attempt exclusively revealed. It’s imminent, final detail discussed — club now very confident. Richard Hughes ready to accept and join Edwards as part of new #LFC structure."

Both Edwards and Hughes have been linked with Newcastle United since Dan Ashworth was placed on gardening leave last month. Ashworth wants to join Manchester United but a compensation package is yet to be agreed. The Magpies demanded an initial figure of £20million.

Edwards, who was previously at Anfield between 2011 and 2022, played a key role in building the squad that won Liverpool's first Premier League title in 2020 and the Champions League in 2019 while signing the likes of Alisson, Virgil van Dijk and Mohamed Salah.

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Hughes had been Bournemouth's technical director since 2016 and previously worked with Magpies' head coach Eddie Howe and assistant Jason Tindall.

When announcing his departure, Hughes said: “Working for AFC Bournemouth has always been a source of great joy and pride for me. Initially representing the club as a player and then subsequently in a football leadership role, I count every moment I’ve spent here as a blessing.

“As technical director, I’ve been fortunate to work alongside some of the most talented and dedicated individuals the game can offer. It’s been ten challenging, enjoyable and rewarding years in this post.

“The journey we have been on, as a club, is nothing short of remarkable. Where we are currently, on and off the pitch, assures me the future is bright.

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“In Bill Foley, AFCB has an owner who is as ambitious as he is smart and committed. In Neill Blake, the club has a top-tier CEO who has always made decisions which place the best interests of the club and its supporters before anything else.

“On the technical side, we have a group of players and coaching setup who complement each other perfectly. Andoni is one of Europe’s most exciting managerial prospects and the playing squad is arguably the best we’ve ever had. I’ve zero doubt that match days will continue to be exciting and entertaining for our fans.

“The club requires a healthy lead up time to plan for the summer and beyond so this is the right time to announce that I will be leaving at the end of the season."

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