Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson will leave his training camp in Germany after the Merseyside club agreed and agreed in principle to transfer the midfielder to the Saudi national team.
A fee of £12 million plus add-ons was agreed between the two sides.
Henderson has already agreed a three-year contract worth nearly 700,000 pounds ($917,000) a week with the deal, which is managed by 33-year-old former Liverpool teammate Steven Gerrard.
But an agreement remains to be agreed between the clubs with club captain Henderson having two years remaining on a four-year contract he signed in the summer of 2021.
Henderson traveled with his colleagues to Germany on Saturday. He was not included in the squad for their match against Karlsruher on Wednesday afternoon.
Gerrard was appointed earlier this month as The Accord’s new manager and has played a key role in leading the pursuit of Henderson.
The England international has been a pioneer off the field for Liverpool and England too, being one of the most vocal players in support of the LGBTQI+ community and fans. Homosexuality is illegal in Saudi Arabia and Liverpool’s Cup Oates supporters group said it would be “appalling” if the proposed transition materialized.
Henderson joined Liverpool from Sunderland in 2011, and was appointed club captain after Gerrard’s departure in 2015. He has been consistent in the Liverpool team since his arrival, making 492 appearances in all competitions.
Henderson played 43 matches with Liverpool last season, participating in 23 matches in the English Premier League, while coach Jurgen Klopp’s team finished fifth.
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Henderson’s teammate Fabinho has been ruled out of Liverpool’s travel to Germany after Saudi club Al-Ittihad made a £40m ($52m) bid for the Brazil international.
Liverpool’s midfield is already undergoing a major update this off-season with Alexis McAllister from Brighton and Dominic Zuboszlay already arriving from Leipzig. They are also interested in a move for Crystal Palace midfielder Shek Doucouré.
James Milner, Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain left at the end of their contracts in June while Fabio Carvalho joined RB Leipzig on a season-long loan.
The Saudi Professional League has emerged as a destination for many European stars after the Public Investment Fund acquired Al-Hilal, Al-Nasr, Al-Ittihad and Al-Ahly.
Cristiano Ronaldo joined Al-Nassr last December, with former Real Madrid teammate Karim Benzema making a surprise move to Al-Ittihad in early June.
Henderson’s former Liverpool teammate Roberto Firmino signed with Al-Ahly last week after his contract with the Premier League team expired. Chelsea players N’Golo Kante, Kalidou Koulibaly and Edouard Mendy have all moved to the Gulf state.
What now for central Liverpool?
Andy Jones analysis
The possible exits of Fabinho and Jordan Henderson will make Liverpool look lighter in midfield. In addition, Fabio Carvalho joined RB Leipzig on loan.
Jurgen Klopp has largely rebuilt that territory this summer with the signings of Alexis McAllister and Dominic Zuboszlai for a combined fee of around £95m ($123m) following the exits of Milner, Keita, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Arthur Melo.
The versatile new duo should provide a huge boost of energy and creativity, but Liverpool are yet to bring in a dedicated defensive midfielder. That may need to change.
Should Liverpool continue the 3-box-3 system in which they finished the season, Mac Allister profiles the perfect left-side number 10 and Szoboszlai right-side number 10.
However, should Henderson and Fabinho move for either, or both, changes would have to be made.
They maintain interest in Southampton’s Romeo Lavia, as well as Doucoure, but believe the Belgian teenager is well above £50m.
There’s also Curtis Jones and Harvey Elliott. They had different campaigns last season, but their progress could have been slowed by the signings of McAllister and Szoboszlai.
Although Klopp has brought in fresh faces, the potential loss of such experience in midfield has to be compensated for.
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(Photo: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
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