Former Arsenal head of recruitment Sven Mislintat is said to have a good connection to Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp following their time together at Borussia Dortmund, where he is credited with spotting the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Ousmane Dembele
Thursday 1 December 2022 08:16, UK
Former Arsenal head of recruitment Sven Mislintat is interested in succeeding Julian Ward as Liverpool sporting director.
There have been no concrete negotiations yet but Mislintat is open to taking over when Ward leaves Anfield at the end of the season.
The 50-year-old is currently on a break after leaving his role as Stuttgart sporting director at the end of his contract earlier this month.
Mislintat is said to have a good connection to Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp following their time together at Dortmund, where he is credited with spotting Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Ousmane Dembele.
Mislintat spent 14 months at Arsenal between 2017 and 2019 and brought in the likes of Matteo Guendouzi and Lucas Torreira, and was linked with a job at Bayern Munich.
He left, however, as Arsenal changed their internal recruitment structures, and then spent three years at Stuttgart, which included promotion back to the Bundesliga.
Liverpool were surprised and disappointed by Ward's resignation, but believe the football operation will continue to function effectively under his leadership until the end of the season.
The club also has confidence in the wider football operations team to ensure there is no shortfall in performance or delivery during the period of transition.
Liverpool have also recently announced they are open to investment amid reports that could also involve a full sale of the club.
Sky Sports News senior reporter Melissa Reddy:
"It's all change at Liverpool - big change, too much change, change that really forces you to ask some really strong questions.
"If losing former sporting director Michael Edwards wasn't a significant enough loss, his former assistant Julian Ward has handed in his resignation and will leave Liverpool at the end of the season.
"That's really shocking given how soon it has come, and the club's esteemed director of research Ian Graham will also leave at the end of the season. And this all comes amid Mike Gordon, the FSG president who was in charge of the day-to-day running of the club, taking a step back.
"To put this all into context, Liverpool used to refer to their triumvirate as their three key men: Jurgen Klopp, Michael Edwards and Mike Gordon. Now you have Gordon stepping back and Edwards no longer at the club. Now Klopp is taking more of a role in recruitment and he will be quite pivotal in the strategy moving forward amid all these departures.
"You may think that's a good thing: A manager absorbing more power and responsibility. But if you look at the departures, these are key people to the data-driven approach that has made Liverpool so successful.
"So are they starting to get less responsibility? Is there less trust in them? Is power being taken away from them?
"In my coverage of the club, the thing that stood out was the people working in the analytics department saying that the reason it resonates at Liverpool, why they've been able to thrive, is because they have been allowed to get on with the job without any interference and make a tangible difference.
"A lot of them worked at other clubs that wanted to say they were interested in analytics, but they did not value the research or apply it accordingly. Are we seeing now a change in Liverpool?
"There are a lot of reports they are considering a change in strategy, that Klopp has assumed more control in terms of recruitment. That might be widely applauded in some areas, but not in others. The people that helped deliver success are all leaving.
"We can't ignore the fact that all of these developments come amid Fenway Sports Group looking at fresh investment for the club, which includes the possibility of an outright sale.
"There is a lot of talk saying that these people are leaving because the new owners will want to put their own teams in place. We need to understand how long the process is to find out which people could buy Liverpool, whether they are the right owners for the club and whether they have human rights issues or other problems that could be flagged against them.
"The process of a takeover is pretty long in normal circumstances. People will look at the Chelsea situation, that was completely different and doesn't apply here compared to the sales of Liverpool and Manchester United, who are on the market as well.
"These are worrying developments for Liverpool, it gives a sense of fragility behind the scenes and chaos. But this has come off question marks over the medical department and the upheaval there.
"Given the start to the season they have had, where the form is not good, it is just a lot of uncertainty among Liverpool and quiet panic which you don't associate with the club. It has always been calm, and you knew behind the scenes it was very collaborative.
"Is it time to question whether that is still the case?"