Richard Hughes massively annoyed Liverpool after beating Michael Edwards to £13m signing

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Richard Hughes’ tale of competition with Liverpool over signings was not entirely unsuccessful.

The Bournemouth technical director did manage to beat his former Portsmouth colleague, Michael Edwards, to one £13m transfer for Lloyd Kelly, a result that annoyed the Reds.

The now CEO of Football at FSG reportedly congratulated the 44-year-old over the phone for his achievement.

“If, on each occasion, Liverpool’s pulling — and spending — power left him to some extent frustrated, there was the consolation that his identification process had been highly efficient,” Paul Hoyce wrote for The Times.

“The occasional scalp also tasted sweet. Much to Liverpool’s annoyance, Hughes was successful in persuading defender Lloyd Kelly to reject the lure of Merseyside to move to Bournemouth in May 2019 for £13 million.

“That deal prompted a begrudging, congratulatory phone call to Hughes from Michael Edwards, then Liverpool’s sporting director. It is Edwards’ appointment as chief executive of football at Liverpool’s owner, Fenway Sports Group, that has now smoothed the wheels for the next step in Hughes’ career progression.”

The Merseysiders now appear set to turn their focus to capturing the signature of Jurgen Klopp’s successor.

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READ MORE: Four Klopp signings could have joined Bournemouth instead if Richard Hughes had his way

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What will Hughes’ mission at Liverpool be?

There will be similarly obvious players Liverpool are expected to sign in the market as and when they become available.

Perhaps the true mark of Edwards and our recruitment team’s genius, however, is the identification of players like Andy Robertson and Gini Wijnaldum. Signed on the cheap and turned into world-class operators.

Having our former sporting director keep a watchful eye on Hughes’ progress will no doubt be helpful in that regard.

If we can see the club extract major value from cheaper signings as we did historically, of course, that will be a serious indicator of our new sporting director’s ability to get the most out of the market.

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