Liverpool director target to leave club in summer as Romano confirms he is ‘main name’ on shortlist

Jason Soutar
Liverpool reportedly want to appoint Bournemouth director Richard Hughes.
Liverpool reportedly want to appoint Bournemouth director Richard Hughes.

Bournemouth technical director Richard Hughes will leave the club at the end of the season with Liverpool reportedly keen on appointing him.

Hughes had two playing spells with the Premier League club and took on the technical director role in 2016 after two years on their recruitment team.

Fabrizio Romano has reported that Hughes is ‘one of the main names appreciated by Liverpool‘ as the Anfield club search for a new transfer guru.

Former sporting director Michael Edwards is another on the Reds’ shortlist, with a massive summer coming up following Jurgen Klopp’s decision to leave.

Bournemouth confirmed Hughes’ decision to step down on Tuesday evening.

He told the club’s official website: “Working for AFC Bournemouth has always been a source of great joy and pride for me. Initially representing the club as a player and then subsequently in a football leadership role, I count every moment I’ve spent here as a blessing.

“As technical director, I’ve been fortunate to work alongside some of the most talented and dedicated individuals the game can offer. It’s been ten challenging, enjoyable and rewarding years in this post.

“The journey we have been on, as a club, is nothing short of remarkable. Where we are currently, on and off the pitch, assures me the future is bright.

“In Bill Foley, AFCB has an owner who is as ambitious as he is smart and committed. In Neill Blake, the club has a top-tier CEO who has always made decisions which place the best interests of the club and its supporters before anything else.

“On the technical side, we have a group of players and coaching setup who complement each other perfectly. Andoni is one of Europe’s most exciting managerial prospects and the playing squad is arguably the best we’ve ever had. I’ve zero doubt that match days will continue to be exciting and entertaining for our fans.

“The club requires a healthy lead up time to plan for the summer and beyond so this is the right time to announce that I will be leaving at the end of the season.

“I look forward to the day I return as a supporter in the company of my wife and our five children who are the biggest of Cherries fans, but before then an important end to this season awaits and I am looking forward to a strong finish. Up the Cherries.”

Bournemouth owner and chairman Bill Foley added: “I’m very grateful for Richard’s outstanding service to this football club. His contribution in helping to deliver competitive teams for us over the years is no better highlighted than by our status as a Premier League club for seven of the last nine seasons. I wish him the very best for the future.”

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Bournemouth later confirmed that Simon Francis – who has worked closely with Hughes – will become the club’s technical director in the summer.

On his appointment, Francis said: “I’d like to thank Bill Foley and Neill Blake for the opportunity to become the first-team technical director of the football club that has been my life for the past 13 years.

“Having been a part of the huge success the club enjoyed during my playing career, I have also been privileged to be a part of the recruitment department, transitioning from Premier League player to a senior scouting role, and then for the last three years as assistant to Richard.

“I can’t thank Richard enough for giving me the guidance and tutelage to understand what it takes to operate at the highest level of football. He is someone I will always hold in the highest of regards. From playing together in the same Eddie Howe team to working together off the pitch has been the perfect apprenticeship for me.

“But now I am proud to be able to play a part in the next chapter of this exciting, ambitious football club and look forward to continuing the work with Andoni and this group of players to help the club build towards an exciting future on and off the pitch.”

AFC Bournemouth owner and chairman Bill Foley said: “Simon has been a key part of our success, firstly with his performances on the field before working closely with Richard and Neill for the last three years off it.

“I’m excited for him to continue that great work, as we aim to sustain our position in the top flight and develop the squad even further over the coming years.”

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