Premier League • England

Jordan Henderson ignores Klopp pleas as disappointed Liverpool boss offers thoughts on Saudi transfer

Jurgen Klopp manager of Liverpool with Jordan Henderson of Liverpool during the Premier League match at the Emirates Stadium, London

Jurgen Klopp manager of Liverpool with Jordan Henderson of Liverpool

Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson will quit Anfield to become richer than his wildest dreams by moving to Saudi Arabia – but his exit will leave manager Jurgen Klopp with something of a bitter taste, claims a report.

The long-serving midfielder has been at Anfield for 12 seasons, signing in a bargain £20m deal from Sunderland in 2011. A legendary figure around the club, Henderson has captained the Reds through one of the most-succcesful eras in their history.

However, after it emerged last week that Henderson had agreed a staggering £700,000 a week deal over three years with Al-Ettifaq, confirmation of an agreement was revealed on Wednesday night by Fabrizio Romano.

But while the Saudi side have managed to persuade Henderson to accept the move, striking a deal with Liverpool has proved that bit harder. Initially, Al-Ettifaq – managed by another Anfield legend in Steven Gerrard – had hoped to secure his signing for free.

Liverpool, though, quickly laughed off that attempt, hitting the Saudi side with a £20m demand. However, following talks, the two clubs ultimately settled on a £12m fee.

That staggering deal will see Henderson earn an eye-watering £109.2m after tax over three years. More than tripling the wages he could have earned on Merseyside, more so when you consider tax laws in the UK, Henderson and his family will be set up for generations.

With the move agreed on all parts, Henderson was given permission to leave Liverpool’s pre-season training camp in Germany. And the skipper was a late withdrawal from the side that beat Bundesliga II side Karlsruher 4-2.

The move from Anfield will very much be the end of an era.

READ MORELiverpool willing to turn back on third Reds midfielder wanted in Saudi; Klopp has lost faith in star for two reasons

Klopp speaks out on Jordan Henderson move to Saudi

However, The Sun reports that Henderson ignored a last-ditch plea from Klopp over the move, with the Reds boss desperate to keep him.

And while the pair remain on good terms, Henderson’s decision to leave has seemingly left Klopp with a bitter taste.

Questioned about Henderson following their win, Klopp is adamant, though, that he will leave with his permission.

“In the end, all of these decisions are made by me,” Klopp said.

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

Jordan Henderson will soon be followed by Fabinho, who is set to sign for Al-Ittihad. His deal will reportedly net Liverpool another £40m.

Pressed again on both departures, 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.”

Liverpool’s goals on Wednesday night came from Darwin Nunez, Cody Gakpo and Diogo Jota (two).

Discussing the match, Klopp was happy with his players’ intensity.

“The work out was good. It was intense for the boys,” said Klopp.

“In the first half, I liked the start, but we became stiff and didn’t play as good as we could. It’s early days.

“First half, the kids and Dom (Szoboszlai) were the best in pressing.”

Liverpool’s next pre-season game is against Furth on Monday, before they travel to Singapore to face Leicester (July 30 ) and Bayern (August 2).

READ MORE ~ Euro Paper Talk: Liverpool turn to ultra-stylish PSG technician as Klopp finds Henderson upgrade