New Liverpool sporting director Jorg Schmadtke has spoken about his role ahead of busy transfer window
New sporting director Jorg Schmadtke says Jurgen Klopp will continue to decide the club’s priorities in the transfer market – and revealed the manager’s agent recommended him for the job.
Schmadtke was confirmed on Tuesday as successor to the departing Julian Ward with the 59-year-old taking over in the role on Thursday for an initial short-term period that will oversee the forthcoming summer transfer window.
Among his first tasks will be to build on the groundwork already done by the Reds with two new midfielders the priority. Alexis Mac Allister of Brighton remains the chief target.
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And Schmadtke has explained how he will work alongside Klopp and the recruitment team in determining which players can bolster the squad in the coming months.
“The influence of the coach on transfers is greater in England than in Germany, where a sports director holds everything in one hand,” he said, speaking to Sport1 in Germany.
“Jurgen Klopp sets the priorities. We set him up with a team of data analysts, scouts and so on, so he can then choose from a list of players who he wants to work with. Then I’ll deal with the transfers with the responsible departments in the club. And, in the end, the owners have to be satisfied with the investments.
“If we like each other, we can work together beyond the transfer window. Let’s see. Then we continue or not.”
Schmadtke has gained a reputation in Germany for extracting value from signings within the confines of a limited budget. And while Fenway Sports Group will release significantly greater funds for transfers than at his previous clubs, the German believes there is much more to moves than the fee.
“I don’t have a budget yet!” he laughed when told of the numbers he might expect working in the Premier League. “Seriously, transfers are always complicated. When a player moves from A to B, it’s mostly about small things that are difficult to influence and unrelated to making money.
“For example, how the player integrates with his family in the city, what his place in the team should be, how he can show his maximum performance. You have to take that into account. The sums involved in these transfers are almost irrelevant.”
Klopp had previously distanced himself from suggestions Schmadtke was only due to be appointed because he knew him from working in Germany as a player and manager.
But the new Liverpool sporting director did admit Klopp’s advisor, Marc Kosicke, had suggested him as a contender for the role.
“We’re not that close to each other,” said Schmadtke of Klopp. “We were in the Bundesliga at the same time. He as a coach, I as a sports director, you know each other.
“I know his advisor Marc Kosicke better. He maintains a good exchange with the owners of Liverpool FC. When the current sporting director announced that he wanted to leave for personal reasons, Marc told them: ‘If you are looking for an older and experienced manager for the transfer period, you might want to look into Jorg Schmadtke from Germany’.”