Julian Ward is set for shock Liverpool return as technical director of FSG - just 18 months after leaving - as Reds also poach Benfica chief Pedro Marques

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  • Julian Ward left Liverpool as sporting director 18 months ago but is now rejoining
  • Pedro Marques from Benfica will also start as director of football development 
  • David Moyes at West Ham is a football success story - Listen to the It's All Kicking Off! podcast 

Julian Ward is poised to make a shock return to Liverpool as technical director of owners Fenway Sports Group as the club continues their reshuffle - just 18 months after leaving the Anfield club as sporting director.

Ward is set to rejoin the club alongside Pedro Marques, who is being poached from Benfica and will be appointed as director of football development by the owners. Both hires are set to officially start on June 1.

It continues a mass overhaul at Anfield following a spree of departures, most noticeably Jurgen Klopp. Former director of football Michael Edwards has returned as CEO of Football at FSG, while Bournemouth transfer guru Richard Hughes is the new sporting director.

Ward and Marques are the latest names on the list of executive changes. Ward worked as Liverpool sporting director for one season but left in late 2022. He worked at the club for a decade, having joined from Manchester City in 2012.

The Reds have completely overhauled their hierarchy which now has Edwards at the helm, Hughes working underneath him and then a head coach, which will soon be confirmed as Feyenoord boss Arne Slot. The Dutchman will bring several coaches with him.

Julian Ward is set for a shock return to Liverpool as technical director of owners Fenway Sports Group - just 18 months after leaving the club

Julian Ward is set for a shock return to Liverpool as technical director of owners Fenway Sports Group - just 18 months after leaving the club

Julian Ward is set for a shock return to Liverpool as technical director of owners Fenway Sports Group - just 18 months after leaving the club

Benfica's technical director Pedro Marques will also join Liverpool on June 1 as director of football development

Benfica's technical director Pedro Marques will also join Liverpool on June 1 as director of football development 

Michael Edwards (left) has returned as FSG's CEO of football while Jurgen Klopp is leaving

Michael Edwards (left) has returned as FSG's CEO of football while Jurgen Klopp is leaving  

Marques has also spent time at the English champions, where he was part of the City Football Group’s expansion into a multi-club model. This experience is key given Liverpool are looking to dip their toes into a multi-club market in the near future.

The Portuguese has been known to Liverpool for a while but he had an influential role in talks when the Reds signed Darwin Nunez from Benfica in 2022. Ward was also central to that move and his contacts at the clubs were key.

Ward originally joined Liverpool with a focus on scouting in Portugal and Spain. As sporting director, he also signed Fabio Carvalho from Fulham and was key to tempting Mohamed Salah to extend his deal at the time.

He was promoted to loan pathways manager and also worked as assistant sporting director before taking over from Edwards when he first departed.

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