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Henderson Moves To Leave Saudi Arabia

Jordan Henderson is reportedly unhappy in Saudi Arabia and wants to return to the Premier League.

The former Liverpool captain made the move to Al-Ettifaq last summer but is already keen to leave, with Ajax said to hold an interest alongside English clubs.

We take a look at where Henderson could end up with three weeks remaining of the transfer window.

Henderson is said to favour a return to the English top flight, having failed to settle in Saudi Arabia. Two major Premier League clubs linked with a move are Newcastle and Chelsea.

Sunderland academy graduate Henderson’s affiliation with the Magpies’ rivals could scupper a move to the North East, however.

And it seems unlikely Chelsea would abandon their policy of signing young players on long contracts.

Though there are several other Premier League clubs that would benefit from signing Henderson, the financial element of any deal would make it difficult.

The England international’s hefty Al-Ettifaq wage will be paid tax-free if he stays in Saudi Arabia but he will be hit with a hefty bill from HMRC if he returns to the UK.

Jurgen Klopp was recently asked if Henderson could move back to Liverpool but distanced himself from an approach.

He said: “Did Hendo have a press conference and say that [he wants to leave]? It is just written. That means for me it is not existing.

“He did not call me. We spoke actually but not about that. Really, nothing to say about that.”

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A move to a European giant could be a compromise that works for Henderson, with Ajax one continental club to be linked with the midfielder.

The struggling Dutch powerhouses are fifth in the Eredivisie but the 33-year-old does not appear a natural fit for a side that usually promotes younger players.

A rumoured move to Juventus, however, may be more realistic.

Bayern Munich are also said to have sounded out the Champions League winner, while fellow Bundesliga club Bayer Leverkusen are thought to be interested.

Celtic are another club outside of England to have been linked, with former Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers back in charge of the Scottish champions.

Yet the same financial issues surely exist for Parkhead chiefs.

One issue for Henderson is boss Steven Gerrard’s future in charge of Al-Ettifaq.

The Liverpool legend was instrumental in persuading his former team-mate to leave Anfield but is now under pressure after nine games without a win.

And his dismissal would surely disenfranchise Henderson even further.

But considering Al-Ettifaq paid £12 million for the ex-Reds skipper only six months ago, he may be forced to knuckle down and get used to life in the Middle East.

Shortly after the move, Henderson spoke about adapting to life in a new country.

He said: “I’m trying to embrace it. It’s different in terms of culture, living, night-time training, getting to bed late, waking up during the day.”

That process has not gone smoothly and talks between Henderson and his employers are said to be planned for next week.

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