Liverpool are set to receive a welcome financial boost if former captain Jordan Henderson seals a Saudi Arabia exit in the January transfer window, according to reports. The 33-year-old is claimed to already desire a Premier League return just months after signing a bumper contract at Al Ettifaq.
Henderson left Liverpool last July for a transfer fee in the region of £13million, reportedly signing a deal worth a staggering £350,000 per week.
Steven Gerrard’s appointment as manager would’ve contributed to his decision to walk away from Anfield, after which Jurgen Klopp insisted he wanted him to stay.
But Al Ettifaq have endured a disappointing season, languishing in eighth in the Saudi Pro League, 28 points behind leaders Al Hilal.
Gerrard’s side are without a win since late October, and he was dealt another blow earlier this week when assistant Ian Foster departed to become Plymouth Argyle’s new manager.
Henderson, who has provided five assists in 19 Al Ettifaq appearances, reportedly wants to join Foster out the exit door before the January transfer deadline.
And according to reporter Ben Jacobs, Liverpool will earn a healthy sell-on percentage if Henderson leaves the Saudi outfit on a permanent basis this month.
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It’s claimed that Al Ettifaq insist that the England international isn’t for sale and would only entertain an incredible offer for his signature.
They have also stressed that Henderson hasn’t yet directly told them of his intention to return to the Premier League just months after leaving.
Al Ettifaq have a tight budget, initially attempting to sign the experienced midfielder on a free transfer. Therefore, any negotiations are expected to be tough.
The report adds that there is a belief Henderson’s sudden desire to make a quick exit could be fuelled by concerns about his spot in Gareth Southgate’s England squad for Euro 2024 this summer.
After moving to the Middle East, Henderson spoke about his excitement to help the Saudi Pro League grow its reputation as one of the world’s best. That determination seems to have wavered.
“This opportunity with Stevie [Gerrard] in a totally different league and totally different culture was something completely different,” Henderson told The Athletic after his switch.
“That maybe it would excite me in terms of the project that was put in front of me, in terms of the league and using my experience to try to help with that in many different areas and feeling that people value.
“It’s nice to feel wanted. I know Stevie really wanted me. I know the club really wanted me to go and they wanted me to try and build over the next few years — something that is here to stay and be one of the best leagues in the world.”