LIVERPOOL are asking up to £20m for Jordan Henderson to work with Steven Gerrard in Saudi Arabia.
The Anfield captain is on the verge of accepting a £36million-a-year contract to play for Al-Ettifaq, managed by his former Reds team-mate Gerrard.
Still, Liverpool will fight to find a reasonable transfer fee for 33-year-old Hendo, who has two years left on his contract.
Henderson – whose weekly wages would rise from £190,000 to nearly £700,000 – is ready to bet on his future in England.
Henderson’s potential move to the Middle East is costing more than just £700,000 a week.
The Liverpool midfielder could become the first English top-flight player to take over the Saudi wedge.
It would be quite a coup for the Saudi regime to bring on board an actor so openly committed to LGBTQ+ rights in the Gulf region.
And a move from Henderson could also have a huge knock-on effect for England’s EURO campaign.
Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate will worry one of his regulars will move to a much weaker league ahead of next summer’s Euro 2024 finals.
Gerrard became England’s first manager in the Saudi Pro League when he took over Ettifaq earlier this month – and he wants Henderson to join him.
But the Saudis will be keen to pay the £20m Liverpool are asking as they are already willing to shell out huge wages.
And Hendo has come under criticism from Liverpool LGBT+ supporters group Kop Outs, who are “appalled and concerned” that he is considering a move to Saudi Arabia.
In Saudi Arabia it is illegal to be gay or transgender.
And Henderson has proudly donned a rainbow armband to show his solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community.
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In a statement, the group said: “Kop Outs have appreciated the bond shown by Jordan Henderson. We are appalled and concerned that anyone would consider working for a sportswear company for a regime that oppresses women and LGBT+ people and routinely leads the world in death sentences.
“We hope that Jordan Henderson is a man who is true to his word and true to the values of our club, which he has absolutely embodied to date.”
Another team, Saudi champions Al-Ittihad, are considering signing Liverpool midfielder Fabinho even though it could cost £40m.
No official offer has been made and the Brazilian has three years left on his contract.
But if both players leave, Reds manager Jurgen Klopp would be forced to continue his summer makeover in midfield.
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