Liverpool agree to sell Jordan Henderson to Al-Ettifaq
After Liverpool agreed a fee in principle of £12m plus add-ons for their captain with Al-Ettifaq, Henderson is likely to join Steven Gerrard at the Saudi Pro League club.
After a breakthrough in negotiations, Henderson was excluded from Liverpool’s first friendly of pre-season on Wednesday against Karlsruher SC. In the coming days, the 33-year-old midfielder could undergo a medical at AlEttifaq after agreeing to a contract last week. In addition to his current £200,000 a week salary at Liverpool, he will sign a two-year contract with the option of a third.
Al-Ettifaq, managed by Anfield legend Gerrard, and Liverpool reached a compromise over a player’s two-year contract fee.
Henderson was initially reluctant to relocate with his family to Saudi Arabia, but Al-Ettifaq’s offer changed his mind. Prior to deciding in principle to leave Merseyside, he also discussed his first-team prospects with Jürgen Klopp.
After the Saudi Arabian interest in Henderson and Fabinho disrupted Klopp’s pre-season plans, the club signed Alexis MacAllister and Dominik Szoboszlai for £35m and £60m respectively.
Liverpool and Al-Ittihad are still in negotiations over Fabinho’s exit. Al-Ittihad is one of four Saudi Arabian clubs owned by the Public Investment Fund, unlike Al-Ettifaq. Brazil’s international star is expected to leave for about £40 million. Luis Daz and Thiago Alcântara, two other Liverpool players, are attracting interest from the Saudi Pro League, but the club is expected to turn down any advances.
In regards to both deals, Klopp said: “So long as they are not finalized, we don’t need to talk about them.” In the future, we may have to discuss them, but not right now. At the moment, nothing has been decided, so I have nothing to say. All of these decisions are ultimately mine. Because I respect the players a lot, I usually do it with their consent. It was in this case, and everything is fine.”