Arsenal are set to appoint Liverpool’s former head of fitness Darren Burgess as the club’s new director of high performance, according to a report in The Telegraph.
The newspaper report that Burgess is close to agreeing a deal with the north London club, and that his addition at the Emirates suggests that boss Arsene Wenger has won the battle to ensure a director of football isn’t appointed at the club.
The Telegraph has revealed that the fitness expert will be given a versatile role which will include control over medical, fitness, performance analysis, and psychology at the club, in addition to closely working with the renowned academy.
It is said that Burgess, 43, will still have to report to Wenger.
Liverpool’s former head of fitness looks to take on a wide range of roles except scouting and player recruitment, which was the Arsene Wenger’s issue when the club was rumoured to be appointing a director of football.
The report revealed that the backroom staff appointment was pushed by Gunners’ chief executive Ivan Gazidis, after he assured fans that changes would occur at the club earlier in the year before Wenger announced his two-year contract extension.
The new potential Emirates appointment has an impressive CV, as he was popular among the Liverpool team during his two years at the club from 2010 to 2012 before making a move across the globe to Australia.
Burgess revealed that he was disappointed to leave Liverpool in 2012 and said that it had been his dream to work in the Premier League, so with a move to Arsenal looking likely the Australian could be set to return to the competition.
The 43-year-old is currently working as the high performance manager at Port Adelaide, and will be out of contract at the end of the Australian season in September, but it’s likely that the north London club will want him to join before then to kick-start the 2017/18 season.