Liverpool, who have announced the £9.75m signature of Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Emre Can after his medical on Merseyside on Thursday, are also expected to bolster their academy set-up after Manchester City completed their latest raid on its coaching staff.
The departure of coaches Steve Torpey and Darren Hughes, who will work at the new integrated Etihad campus, follows City’s appointment of Rodolfo Borrell as global technical director, after Liverpool had let him go last November. Liverpool had not wanted to lose Torpey and Hughes, who worked with age groups up to 14, and the moves to replace them are expected to form part of a summer of restructuring at the Kirkby academy. As yet, no director has been appointed to succeed Frank McParland, the Rafael Benitez appointee who the club let go at the same time as Borrell. Liverpool will above all be keen to demonstrate to parents of talented young players that the loss of two respected coaches to the wealthier Manchester club does not imply that City are a better option.
Torpey, the senior of the two departing coaches, had forged a strong partnership with Hughes for Liverpool, coaching age groups up to the age of 14. Though both had seemed to be a part of the McParland/Borrell set-up that Liverpool have dispensed with, Torpey’s departure is a particular surprise. He was a youth team player for the Anfield club and had been seen as an integral part of the Anfield set-up. Manager Brendan Rodgers’ keenness to help shape the Academy culture means that appointments are expected very soon. Key to the future of the Academy will be Alex Inglethorpe, who is close to Rodgers. He came from Tottenham Hotspur to become reserve-team manager, five months after Rodgers was appointed manager in 2012.
Agreement in principle was reached for the signing of 20-year-old German under-21 international Can from Bayer Leverkusen after the conclusion of his medical. Liverpool triggered a 12m euro release clause in his contract to sign him a player who played an influential role in the team’s fourth-placed finish in the Bundesliga, following his move from Bayern Munich last year.
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