Liverpool signed Porto star Luis Diaz last weekend – and they beat one of the Premier League’s most notorious negotiators to a deal
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Liverpool has created a reputation as one of the Premier League of the most efficient club in the transfer market – and they made their latest coup by sealing a sudden blow for Porto star Luis Diaz last week.
The Red Devils don’t know where to go and stare Tottenham and caught the Colombian attacker in the closing days of the January transfer window.
Much of Liverpool’s success in the transfer market in recent years has been attributed to sporting director Michael Edwards.
Edwards, who has played a key role in negotiating some of the biggest deals in the Reds’ recent history, announced that he was leaving from Anfield in the summer.
But his replacement, Julian Ward, is already set to be on the bench in the summer – and if early signs are to be anything, no one needs to fear the Red Devils after Edwards leave in a few months; Liverpool are in safe hands.
Ward has quietly taken on more responsibilities in recent times and it is reported that he oversaw “tough negotiations” that eventually led to Diaz becoming a Reds player.
And by doing so, Ward not only helped Liverpool turn their rivals into one of the most coveted players in Europe, he also got the best of one of their most savvy negotiators. Premier League.
Head of Spurs Daniel Levy is a famous man who is hard to come to terms with.
With that in mind, it’s no surprise that Levy isn’t the most popular man in the world Premier League – but there are few figures in English football who are as accomplished or respected as Levy when it comes to the art of negotiating a deal.
However, Ward has overcome Levy ready.
Based on The Athletic, Levy was ‘angry’ after Tottenham missed out on a deal to buy a prolific attacking player; especially when Liverpool only stepped in when Spurs negotiated Diaz’s price down to 45m euros (£37.6m).
The article, citing sources, claimed hostility between the two clubs was inevitable after Liverpool squeezed Diaz from Tottenham’s grasp in the eleventh hour.
That doesn’t appear to be too much of a concern for Liverpool – who will most likely focus on the ratings work done by Ward ahead of a big promotion in the summer.
If any Liverpool fans have any concerns about replacing Edwards, it’s Ward’s role in the Diaz deal that should worry them. Overcoming Levy is by no means a feat; for Ward to do that in his first clash with the Spurs chief is downright impressive.
For now, the Reds’ current deputy sporting director will continue to pursue the same route after Edwards makes his final bow at the end of the season.
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Liverpool have had a reputation for being cautious but assertive in the transfer market under current owners FSG.
Jurgen Klopp Of course, also played an integral role in developing the Reds’ transfer strategy but Edwards was always seen as the driving force.
But Ward’s victory in the first clash with a seasoned negotiator like Levy should help allay any fears Liverpool fans may have about losing one of Klopp’s right-hand men.
For what it’s worth, Klopp was one of the first to commend Ward and the Reds transfer team for getting a deal for Diaz so quick.
“We know Porto as an excellent club that nurtures players in the best possible way and provides an excellent football education. They are a class club and I have to say they are tough negotiators,” the Reds boss said earlier this week.
“I must also express my appreciation to our football ownership and operations team for the way they have acted decisively to get this job done.
“Luis is a player we believe will make us better now and in the future. He’s the player we really wanted and they made it happen, so I’m very happy.”