Richard Hughes reaches out to Liverpool stars' agents as bold Jürgen Klopp strategy shared

Simon Francis, Richard Hughes and Jay Mellette of Bournemouth during a training session at Vitality Stadium on February 29, 2024 in Bournemouth, England.
-Credit: (Image: Robin Jones - AFC Bournemouth/AFC Bournemouth via Getty Images)

Liverpool is embarking on a new era in more ways than one. The headline news is the arrival of Arne Slot in place of Jürgen Klopp, but there are changes behind the scenes as well.

Among those is the arrival of Richard Hughes as sporting director, having been appointed to that role by the returning Michael Edwards. Joining from Bournemouth, the new man is already busy ahead of a vital summer.

Meanwhile, with the Klopp reign over, certain trade secrets are starting to spill out. Pep Lijnders has made a remarkable claim about the 2019 Champions League final.

READ MORE: We came thousands of kilometers for Jürgen Klopp's farewell and the Liverpool boss was right

READ MORE: Jürgen Klopp already approved first Arne Slot transfer target as Liverpool 'leads the race'

The Liverpool news cycle is no less busy for the lack of games. Here's the Media Digest with everything you might have missed.

Richard Hughes contacts agents of Liverpool stars

It's thought that Richard Hughes has been in the loop at Liverpool for some time now, with the full consent of Bournemouth. He was a part of the process when it came to selecting Slot as the new manager, for instance.

However, he's only recently been able to get truly stuck in. And it seems the new Liverpool sporting director has wasted no time at all.

As revealed on the Blood Red podcast, Hughes has already set about ingratiating himself to the agents of current Liverpool stars. It could be particularly important ahead of a summer of significant contract decisions.

“The contract situations of Van Dijk, Salah and Trent are obviously huge aren’t they. But that’s not necessarily Slot’s remit to sort that out,” said Paul Gorst.

“I think Richard Hughes has already been speaking to agents of Liverpool players and sort of introducing himself for what might be to come in the next couple of weeks.”

The trio of Liverpool's highest earners are all entering the final year of their contracts. Resolving those situations will be right towards the top of Hughes' to-do list.

Pep Lijnders shares Jürgen Klopp's bold strategy

It's not just Klopp leaving Liverpool, with Pep Lijnders also embarking on a new chapter. The erstwhile assistant is taking control at Red Bull Salzburg.

But according to his account, he has long been wielding significant autonomy at Liverpool. He's lifted the lid on an extraordinary Klopp strategy ahead of the 2019 Champions League final, which ended in success over Tottenham.

“So, Jürgen said to me: ‘Pep, I’ve lost seven finals in a row now - you plan it’," Lijnders told The Redmen TV. The assistant then proceeded to enlist Benfica B in mimicking Spurs in a kind of dry run of the fixture.

It's unlikely that Klopp truly ceded all control to Lijnders, but the collaborative approach certainly paid off, and the 'finals curse' was certainly lifted. Liverpool would go on to become 'champions of everything' over the next year, and would later add the domestic cups to the manager's cabinet as well.