The Portsmouth hero touted to guide Liverpool into new era and revive Fratton link-up amid Newcastle United and Roma links

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He was the long-serving Pompey hero in a halcyon period, who served his club with distinction on and off the pitch.

In nine memorable years at PO4 he was part of the Blues fabric in the never-to-be-forgotten Premier League ascent, a fixture as glorious chapters were etched into the Fratton annals.

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Now he’s being touted to become the man tasked with driving Liverpool into a new era, as Jurgen Klopp departs this summer.

Richard Hughes, according to reports, is being lined up to become the new sporting director at Anfield - with that plotline developing yesterday, as the former Pompey midfielder announced his departure from a similar role at Bournemouth.

The man who made 165 appearances after signing from the Cherries as one of Harry Redknapp’s first signings in 2002, has been at Dean Court for the past decade working in recruitment and as the club’s technical director.

Hughes has been linked with joining up with pal Eddie Howe at Newcastle, who are looking for a new sporting director with Manchester United-bound Dan Ashworth on garden leave.

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The lifelong AC Milan fan, who grew up Italy, has also been touted for roles with Italian clubs including Serie A outfit Roma.

But it’s the Liverpool position which is generating the most noise at present in relation to the former long-term News columnist, with the Reds said to be keen to make the appointment before bringing in Klopp’s successor.

The potential for Hughes to take the position is tied to former Pompey analyst Michael Edwards’ rumoured return to Anfield, with the pair friends dating back to the five years he spent at Fratton Park until 2009.

Edwards, of course, went to become the power behind the throne at Liverpool in different roles, culminating in six years as their sporting director before exiting in 2022.

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The Fareham man’s reputation soared there as the likes of Mo Salah, Virgil van Dijk, Alisson Becker, Andy Robertson and Sadio Mane were brought in and Liverpool won the Champions League and Premier League.

Edwards has reportedly been asked to return to the club by owners Fenway Sports Group, who are said to still be hopeful of bringing him back in an over-arching position.

That could potentially see the man known in his Pompey days as Prozone Eddie bring in Hughes, as he orchestrates a Liverpool restructuring process.

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