Liverpool FC can confirm Jorg Schmadtke has been appointed as the club’s new sporting director.

Schmadtke joins the Reds following a spell of more than four years in the same role with Bundesliga side Wolfsburg, which he left at the beginning of 2023.

The former professional goalkeeper had previously enjoyed successful stints in similar positions at Cologne, Hannover and Alemannia Aachen.

Schmadtke represented Fortuna Dusseldorf, Freiburg, Bayer Leverkusen and Borussia Monchengladbach in his home country during his playing career, before retiring in 1998 having played almost 300 Bundesliga games.

The 59-year-old German will begin his new role on June 1, subject to the successful completion of work permit formalities, and will take over as Liverpool’s sporting director from Julian Ward, who will bid farewell this summer after more than a decade at the club.

Ward joined the Reds’ recruitment and scouting team in October 2012 and three years later moved into the newly created position of loan pathways and football partnerships manager.

He subsequently became assistant sporting director and then stepped up to the senior role of sporting director following the end of the 2021-22 campaign.

Fenway Sports Group president Mike Gordon said: “Firstly, I would like to welcome Jorg to Liverpool Football Club in the knowledge that he will bring a wealth of knowledge and experience into a role in which such qualities can only be beneficial both to him and us.

“Jorg will work with our football operations department as it continues to provide support for Jürgen Klopp, in keeping with our ongoing endeavour to keep growing and developing the club in all areas.

“At the same time as we welcome Jorg, we must also bid a fond farewell to Julian Ward, who has served us with unstinting diligence, fortitude and energy in a number of roles, the most recent one being sporting director.

“We wish Julian and his young family the very best for the future and thank him for everything he has done for Liverpool FC during the past 11 years.”