- Liverpool are seeking a new sporting director with Jorg Schmadtke set to leave
- Mail Sport understands no official approaches have been made yet for Steidten
- Is Jurgen Klopp protesting a little too much after Virgil van Dijk refused to commit his future to Liverpool? It’s All Kicking Off Transfer Week podcast
West Ham are braced for an approach from Liverpool to poach highly-rated sporting director Tim Steidten after the January transfer window.
The Premier League leaders are in the market for a new sporting director after Jorg Schmadtke announced he will leave the club at the end of the week. The German is one of five high-profile departures at Anfield, including his close ally Jurgen Klopp and three coaches.
Liverpool have already seen former sporting director Michael Edwards reject the chance to return to the club in a new role, after Mike Gordon, president of owners Fenway Sports Group, floated the idea of him occupying a more senior role to oversee the restructure of the club.
But West Ham’s Steidten has emerged as a leading candidate to occupy the sporting director role, alongside Bournemouth’s Richard Hughes. Mail Sport understands no official approaches have been made yet as that would be bad etiquette during the final days of a transfer window.
The Hammers, though, are braced for interest in their lauded transfer chief, who only joined the east London club in the summer but was heralded for replacing Declan Rice with a flurry of shrewd signings including James Ward-Prowse, Mohammed Kudus and Edson Alvarez.
West Ham are braced for an approach from Liverpool for technical director Tim Steidten
Current Reds sporting director Jorg Schmadtke will leave at the end of the January window
Schmadtke is one of five high-profile departures with Jurgen Klopp leaving in the summer
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Steidten, 44, also worked at Bayer Leverkusen and was responsible for bringing top Reds target Xabi Alonso to the club as manager, plus several key players leading their Bundesliga title tilt. At Werder Bremen before that, he signed the likes of Kevin De Bruyne and Serge Gnabry.
David Moyes and Steidten started on the wrong foot but have patched up relations. Nevertheless, the sporting director believes he should have more control at the club and sources have suggested he is not entirely settled yet.
The German was also keen to bring in his younger brother Moritz and another friend, Maximilian Hahn, as part of his operation at West Ham in a scouting capacity as he looked to stamp further authority on the London Stadium.
But West Ham are now worried that Steidten could leave if Liverpool come calling. He is said to be one name on a list of targets to replace Schmadtke in a new-look structure at Anfield, along with Bournemouth’s Richard Hughes and several others.
The former midfielder joined the Bournemouth technical team under Eddie Howe upon his retirement from playing and was later promoted to technical director. He has overseen a data-driven approach to the transfer window under impressive boss Andoni Iraola.
Steidten has been credited for signing Mohammed Kudus in the summer for West Ham
David Moyes and Steidten started on the wrong foot but have patched up relations
Bournemouth’s Richard Hughes is viewed as another contender for the sporting director role
Sources close to the Cherries insist Hughes is happy on the south coast and that he is fully committed to his work at the Vitality Stadium but, like Steidten, it could be a hard offer to turn down if Liverpool were to come calling.
Liverpool’s glory era under Klopp came partly because of shrewd operations at transfer level from the likes of Edwards – the two worked in tandem rather than any hierarchy – and there is a strong feeling they will appoint a sporting director before going all out for a new manager.
Alonso, who has a relationship with Steidten, has been touted as the early front-runner. Liverpool’s recruitment process is being run from Boston by FSG and they are keen to take their time with a data-driven approach to get the right man to succeed Klopp.