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Cruyff linked with Liverpool role

Dutch legend Johan Cruyff is among the heavy-weight names being targeted by Liverpool following the departure of Damien Comolli as the Premier League club's director of football.

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Comolli left Anfield by "mutual consent" on Thursday after a number of big-money signings, including Andy Carroll (£35 million), Jordan Henderson (£16 million) and Stewart Downing (£20 million), failed to deliver on the pitch.

According to widespread reports, former Barcelona manager Cruyff is top of the list to replace Comolli and the BBC claim the 64-year-old has impressed Liverpool chief John W Henry in his senior roles with Ajax and Chivas in Mexico.

Cruyff, who won three European Cups as a player with Ajax between 1971 and 1973, is one of a number of names under consideration, with fellow Ajax man Louis van Gaal and former Barcelona director of football Txiki Begiristain also linked with the Liverpool vacancy.

The Guardian report that David Dein, the former Arsenal vice-chairman, has also been spotted with Anfield officials at the club's last two league games but Liverpool have dismissed that link as a coincidence as Dein is visiting all Premier League clubs as part of the competition's 20th anniversary.

Cruyff, who resigned as an Ajax director in February over the board's decision to appoint former Bayern Munich manager Van Gaal as chief executive, remains the early front-runner.

He is largely credited for helping Barcelona become the dominant force they are at present after stamping his philosophy on the club during his time as manager during the 1980s and 90s and continues to have influence at the Spanish and European champions.

Comolli's dismissal at Liverpool appears to be the start of a backroom overhaul, with Peter Brukner, the head of sports science, also leaving the club on Thursday.

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