Liverpool captain Henderson set to join Gerrard in Saudi
Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson is set to join former teammate Steven Gerrard at Saudi club Al Ettifaq after a deal was struck between the clubs, The Athletic reported on Wednesday.
Henderson, 33, led the Reds to their first Premier League title for 30 years in 2020, a year after lifting the Champions League.
However, the England midfielder has been tempted to join Gerrard after reportedly being offered a deal worth up to £700,000-a-week ($915,000)
Liverpool are set to receive a fee of £12 million ($15.5 million).
Gerrard was appointed manager of Al Ettifaq earlier this month.
Henderson joined Liverpool from Sunderland in 2011 and succeeded Gerrard as skipper at Anfield in 2015.
He had been left out of Jurgen Klopp’s squad for a friendly against Karlsruhe on Wednesday.
Liverpool are also set to lose Fabinho to the influx of investment by Saudi clubs with the Brazilian on the brink of a £40 million move to Al-Ittihad.
Klopp has also seen midfielders Naby Keita, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and James Milner depart on free transfers since the end of last season.
But Liverpool have reinforced that area of the field with the signings of Alexis Mac Allister and Dominik Szoboszlai.
Henderson’s decision to move to the Gulf state has been criticised by Liverpool’s LGBT+ fans group Kop Outs.
The Saudi state has been accused of attempting to “sportswash” its human rights record by hosting major sporting events and now attracting some of the world’s best footballers to its domestic league.
The conservative monarchy executed 81 people in a single day last year, outlaws homosexuality and triggered international condemnation when journalist Jamal Khashoggi was murdered in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in 2018.
“Kop Outs have valued the allyship shown by @JHenderson,” the group said in a statement on Twitter.
“We are appalled and concerned that anyone might consider working for a #sportswashing operation for a regime where women & LGBT+ people are oppressed.”
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