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Liverpool eye former Everton defender Heitinga to join Slot’s coaching staff

Liverpool are considering a move for former Everton defender John Heitinga to join the backroom staff under new manager Arne Slot, according to the Daily Mail.

Heitinga is a decorated Dutch international with five major tournament appearances and recently left West Ham United after working for a short spell as first-team coach under David Moyes.

Talks have reportedly taken place between him and compatriot Slot regarding a potential reunion at Anfield. The deal is not yet finalised, with Liverpool exploring other options to complete Slot’s coaching team.

Heitinga’s past with Everton will raise eyebrows. He was a mainstay in defence between 2009 and 2014 after joining from Atletico Madrid.

He was a popular figure during his 140-game spell at Everton and had spells with Ajax and Fulham before hanging up his boots.

Heitinga began his managerial career with the Ajax youth teams and held the senior job in a caretaker capacity in 2023.

The 40-year-old’s potential return to Merseyside would be a surprising move. His knowledge of Slot and the Premier League is an asset, but he faces competition for the role.

Meanwhile, Liverpool have confirmed the appointment of Aaron Briggs as the new development coach.

Briggs fills the void left by Vitor Matos, who former manager Jurgen Klopp described as a crucial link between the first team and the academy. Matos is set to join former Klopp assistant Pepijn Lijnders at Red Bull Salzburg.

The 37-year-old brings experience from Manchester City, where he spent nine years as an analyst and coach.

Briggs has already begun working with the squad. The Reds began pre-season training on Friday.

Liverpool are now looking to fill two remaining positions – a first-team coach and a set-piece specialist. The recruitment process for the latter is ongoing.

Slot has already bolstered his staff with goalkeeping coach Fabian Otte, who joins after a stint with the United States national team.

Former head of goalkeeping John Achterberg has joined Steven Gerrard in Saudi Arabia.

Sipke Hulshoff joins Slot as assistant head coach, while Ruben Peeters takes on the role of head of performance.

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