Henderson snubs Klopp ‘last-ditch plea’ as report reveals why Liverpool skipper wants Saudi move

Jason Soutar
Jordan Henderson hugs Jurgen Klopp after a win against Bournemouth.
Jurgen Klopp hugs Jordan Henderson after a win against Bournemouth.

Jurgen Klopp failed to convince Jordan Henderson to stay at Liverpool after making a ‘last-ditch plea’.

Henderson is closing in on a mind-boggling £12million move to Saudi Arabian outfit Al-Ettifaq, where he will reunite with Reds legend Steven Gerrard.

Despite being someone who has proudly worn the rainbow armband as Liverpool captain and used his position to speak up for LGBT+ rights, the England midfielder has decided to tarnish his reputation as one of the good guys by moving to a country where homosexuality is illegal and punishable by death.

The money on offer was clearly too much for Henderson to turn down, even if he is on a very tasty wage packet at Anfield.

His Liverpool salary is believed to be worth around £10m per year (the poor sod) and in Saudi Arabia, he will earn a reported £36m every 12 months.

Reds boss Klopp was understandably reluctant to lose his captain in a summer where he is completely remodeling his midfield.

READ MORE: Over the rainbow? Will Jordan Henderson really sell his soul for Saudi Arabia gold?

Henderson has been at Anfield since July 2011 and became club captain four years later following Gerrard’s departure.

Discussing the 33-year-old’s impending move to Al-Ettifaq, Klopp said: “In the end, all of these decisions are made by me.

“And because I respect the players a lot, it’s usually with consent. It was in this case, and it is all fine.”

Henderson is likely to be joined in the middle eastern country by teammate Fabinho, who is closing in on a £40m transfer to Karim Benzema and N’Golo Kante’s Al-Ittihad.

On the deals, Klopp added: “We don’t have to talk about it. There will be a moment where we probably have to talk about it, but it’s not now.”

According to The Sun, Klopp did all he could to convince Henderson to stay, but in the end, the player was not interested in ignoring those Saudi riches.

The report says the German manager ‘pleaded with Henderson to see out the last two years of his contract’.

After snubbing his boss, the former Sunderland youngster was ‘ditched’ from Liverpool’s squad for their pre-season friendly against Karlsruher on Wednesday evening.

Henderson’s reasoning for leaving is that ‘he believed his game time would be limited’ in 2023/24 following the signings of Dominik Szoboszlai and Alexis Mac Allister for a combined £100m. I’m sure he has 108 million reasons why he is leaving…

One thing that will be interesting to see is if a move to Saudi Arabia has a negative effect on Henderson’s England future. He will obviously want to go to Euro 2024 in Germany.

Klopp has already lost James Milner, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Naby Keita, while Fabio Carvalho has departed on loan, so his midfield depth will be severely lacking when Henderson and Fabinho’s exits are official.

Thiago will be heavily relied on going into the new season, which is a huge risk considering his injury record.

Excluding Henderson and Fabinho, Klopp’s current midfield options are Szoboszlai, Mac Allister, Thiago, Stefan Bajcetic, Harvey Elliott and Curtis Jones.

Liverpool have been strongly linked with Southampton’s Romeo Lavia and are expected to make an opening offer with two senior midfield players close to departing.

As well as Lavia, the Reds are reportedly interested in Fiorentina’s Sofyan Amrabat and Crystal Palace’s Cheick Doucoure, who is reportedly worth between £70-80m.

We knew Liverpool needed a big midfield overhaul this summer, but this is a bit much, Jurgen…

READ MORE: Liverpool rocked by £95m moves: Every player linked with Saudi Arabia transfer this summer