Premier League • England

Steven Gerrard pushing for brutal double Liverpool raid to convince Henderson on Al Ettifaq stay

Jordan Henderson and Steven Gerrard, England

Jordan Henderson embraces Steven Gerrard after England game

Steven Gerrard wants to keep Jordan Henderson at Al Ettifaq and could try to sign two Liverpool stars to convince the midfielder to remain in the Saudi Pro League, according to one journalist.

Henderson raised eyebrows over the summer when he left Liverpool to join Al Ettifaq in a £13million deal. It was initially claimed that Henderson would pick up a stunning £700,000 a week in the Middle East, but it has since emerged that he instead earns half that figure. Still, he is picking up way more than he would at any club in Europe.

The Englishman was widely criticised for the move, as he has been an ally to the LGBT+ community in recent years but is now playing in a country where it is illegal to be homosexual.

When linking up with Gerrard at Al Ettifaq, Henderson said those joining Saudi clubs had been judged too quickly, and that he wanted to help the country grow their top flight.

But the former Liverpool skipper could return to Europe sooner than expected. It recently emerged that several players including Henderson are unhappy with the lifestyle in Saudi Arabia, as well as the low attendances top-flight games get.

There has been tentative talk of him returning to Anfield, but it is more likely that the 33-year-old will try himself out in a new European division. On Tuesday, Fabrizio Romano stated that Ajax are hoping to sign him.

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Despite this interest, Gerrard remains hopeful of keeping Henderson and is plotting a double move to convince him that Al Ettifaq is a great club to be at.

According to transfer insider Ben Jacobs, the manager has recommended Al Ettifaq sign Henderson’s former Liverpool team-mates Joel Matip and Joe Gomez.

Liverpool subject to another Al Ettifaq swoop?

“Ettifaq are exploring a range of ambitious options both in January and this summer to bolster Gerrard’s squad. Two Al Ettifaq targets for this window are Fenerbahce’s Ryan Kent and Al-Hilal’s Abdulellah Al-Malki.

“Steven Gerrard was part of a three-hour recruitment meeting on Monday where Liverpool’s Joel Matip and Joe Gomez, and Villa’s Bertrand Traore, were also discussed for summer 2024,” Jacobs said in an interview with CaughtOffside.

“Some of these names may be presented to Henderson to help reassure him of future plans and the project. The England midfielder is believed to be self-representing, and should he find a genuine suitor Ettifaq’s ‘not for sale’ stance could yet be tested, but it’s certainly not an easy exit to facilitate.”

Gomez’s exit would be particularly damaging for Klopp. The 26-year-old’s versatility has come in very handy this term, as he has operated in all positions across the defence and recently covered at left-back amid injuries to Andy Robertson and Kostas Tsimikas.

Matip has been a loyal servant to Liverpool since joining from FC Schalke 04 in 2016. However, the centre-back may have played his last game for the Reds, as he tore his ACL in December and his contract is due to expire in the summer.

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