Premier League • England

Double Liverpool exit that would devastate Klopp clarified, as heavily-linked Reds target deemed fake news

Alisson, Jordan Henderson and Thiago Alcantara of Liverpool

Alisson, Jordan Henderson and Thiago Alcantara in Liverpool training

Links between Thiago Alcantara and Jordan Henderson with the Saudi Pro League have been clarified and one exit is likelier than the other, while a heavily-linked transfer target is believed to be a red herring, per a report.

Speculation Thiago and Liverpool captain Henderson could move to Saudi Arabia have done the rounds in recent weeks. Indeed, the appointment of Steven Gerrard at Al Ettifaq was the catalyst that sparked the Henderson rumours.

Both the Daily Mail and L’Equipe claimed the 33-year-old was on Gerrard’s radar. Elsewhere, aside from the Saudi links, Thiago is also in the sights of Turkish giant Galatasaray.

Liverpool are currently in the midst of a midfield rebuild having seen Alexis Mac Allister and Dominik Szoboszlai arrive. A third midfielder in the form of Romeo Lavia is also wanted.

However, more have left than joined, with Leighton Clarkson, Arthur Melo, James Milner, Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain all departing.

Milner will leave a big hole from a leadership perspective. Losing club captain Henderson in the same window, as well as experienced veteran Thiago would be a bitter pill to swallow for Klopp.

Now, responding in a Q&A in the Liverpool Echo, their reporter, Paul Gorst, weighed in on Thiago and Henderson exit claims.

Gorst stated he doesn’t see Henderson going anywhere, though left the door ajar for Thiago to make way. Regarding the Spaniard, the decision sounds like it’ll hinge on whether he himself wishes to leave.

“I don’t see Henderson leaving,” wrote Gorst. “A lot depends for Thiago on his own wishes but the feeling is he is looking to stay put.

“No official proposals for either player presently.”

Thiago has one year left on his deal, while Henderson has two. With Liverpool not inclined to offer Thiago an extension, an exit this summer to ensure they recoup a fee would make sense.

But until official offers are lodged, that is a conversation for another day.

Liverpool “being used” in Goncalo Inacio speculation

Elsewhere, Gorst was asked about Liverpool links to a new centre-back, specifically Chelsea’s Levi Colwill and the heavily-linked Goncalo Inacio of Sporting Lisbon.

However, Gorst insisted there is no truth to the Inacio speculation, with the Reds believing they’re being used to drum up artificial interest in the player.

“In terms of Colwill, I’m not hugely aware of a big [centre-back] shortlist in the same way the midfield revamp has had,” wrote Gorst.

“I was assured recently in no uncertain terms that Inacio is not on it, at least. There’s a feeling that Liverpool’s name is being used to drum up interest.”

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