How Liverpool’s new sporting director ensured they beat Man Utd to Darwin Nunez transfer

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Liverpool’s new sporting director Julian Ward is the mastermind leading the Reds’ transfer activity this summer after taking over from Michael Edwards and has already played a key role in securing Darwin Nunez.

Edwards announced in November that he would be stepping down as sporting director.

After repeated attempts to convince Edwards to extend his tenure had failed, it was decided that assistant sporting director Julian Ward would take over.

Liverpool fans can be confident that Ward is the best candidate to succeed Edwards, and his key strengths already seem to be paying off.

Darwin Nunez has plenty of admirers

One of Wards’ major strengths is his strong relations with his Portuguese connections, which started to grow during his time as head of analysis and technical scouting for the Portuguese Football Federation in 2008 and Liverpool’s European scouting manager for Spain and Portugal between 2012 and 2015.

Negotiating a deal for Darwin Nunez has been Ward’s most recent assignment, which is expected to cross the finishing line soon after both clubs agree on the transfer’s payment structure.

It has been suggested by The Times that Liverpool’s new sporting director used his Portuguese contacts to ensure Anfield was Nunez’s preferred destination, preventing a bidding war with rivals Manchester United.

The Times also reported that during negotiations, it was Ward who flew over to Portugal to hold face-to-face talks with Benfica officials.

This is a big blow to Man Utd, who could also have done with a signing like Nunez up front after their difficult season last term, with the team overly reliant on an ageing Cristiano Ronaldo for goals.

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