Former Liverpool sporting director Michael Edwards rules out joining Chelsea this summer.

According to The Athletic, Chelsea have been handed a major blow in their search for a new sporting director, with former Liverpool recruitment king Michael Edwards turning down the opportunity to take over at Stamford Bridge.

Alongside Tom Werner and Jurgen Klopp, Edwards played a key role in building an all-conquering squad at Anfield. Led by Klopp, the team went on to win all major honours and are today one of the pre-eminent footballing forces in European football.

Edwards joined Liverpool as an analyst in 2011 and eventually went on to take over as director, playing a key role in the club’s recruitment. He did not just bring in several top players who bloomed on Merseyside, but also helped the club sustain their spending by offloading fringe players for impressive sums.

He left Anfield this summer, leaving behind a legacy as a quiet but effective operator. Julian Ward has since taken over his role at Liverpool and has enjoyed a rather promising first season at the head.

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Edwards’ efforts have not gone unnoticed and Chelsea were keen to tempt him to replace Marina Granovskaia as Todd Boehly aims to put together a strong roster. Edwards has, however, turned down the offer and is keen to take a sabbatical. That is to be expected given the nature of the work he was exposed to over the last decade.

Chelsea might, however, have been handed some hope given that Edwards does not appear to have completely ruled out a switch. As long as the Blues are ready to return for him later, they stand a shot at landing his services.

This does not augur well for Liverpool fans, given the Englishman’s success on Merseyside. Edwards certainly has an affinity for the club and was afforded free reins to lead the club’s recruitment strategy. He was seen dancing in Liverpool’s open-top bus parade this summer and appears to have left the club on good terms.

While the structure at Liverpool was catered to get the best out of their policymakers, the same cannot be said of Chelsea. The club are said to have a toxic working culture, something the new regime will be keen to address. Edwards remains a man in demand, but he could very well discover that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.

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