Reds agree Henderson deal
Midfielder set for medical on Merseyside on Wednesday
By Graeme Bailey - Follow me on Twitter @skygraemebailey. Last Updated: June 8, 2011 8:26am
Sky Sports understands that Liverpool have agreed terms with Sunderland for England international midfielder Jordan Henderson.
The Reds have been locked in talks with their Premier League counterparts for several days after making their initial approach last week.
The two clubs have been haggling over the valuation of the 20-year-old, who will undergo a medical with the Merseyside giants on Wednesday.
It is understood that the deal that has been agreed is worth £20million and it will include David N'Gog moving in the opposite direction, subject to him agreeing terms on Wearside.
- 1990: Born in Sunderland, June 17
- 2008: Makes Sunderland debut v Chelsea in November
- 2010: Signs new five-year deal with Sunderland in April and makes England Under-21 debut in match against Uzbekistan at Bristol in August
- 2010 - November: Makes senior England debut, starting in the 2-1 friendly defeat to France
- 2011: May: Named as Sunderland's young player of the year for the second consecutive season. Selected for England Under-21's European Championship squad
The French striker will hold talks with the North East club, while Henderson brokers his move to Anfield.
Henderson is due to link up with England Under-21 squad ahead of the European Championships which begins this weekend, and both clubs are eager for the move to be completed before then.
As was the case when Aston Villa came calling in January with a deal potentially rising to £24million for Darren Bent, Sunderland were made an offer which represents an irresistible return on their investment.
Although the figures add up favourably, what is not in dispute is that Henderson's departure will leave another major hole in Bruce's squad.
His form suffered in the immediate aftermath of his senior England debut against France in November last year, but he has been a key man for the Black Cats in the last two seasons and will take some replacing.
The manager is already engaged in an extensive recruitment drive with Bent yet to be replaced, while the returns of loan signings Danny Welbeck, Nedum Onuoha, John Mensah and Sulley Muntari to their clubs has left him with a series of sizeable gaps to plug.
Bruce is targeting as many as three strikers and in the circumstances, the inclusion of 22-year-old Ngog in the deal will prove an attractive benefit, although he has been a largely peripheral figure during his three seasons to date at Anfield.
Allowing Henderson to leave will add another item to the shopping list but significantly boost his transfer kitty, with owner Ellis Short remaining supportive but having reined in some of the rather less controlled spending of recent years.
However, it may not go down too well with fans who still blame Bent's shock departure for the club's slump during the second half of last season.
Liverpool have also been linked with Black Cats skipper Lee Cattermole in recent days, although it is unlikely that Bruce would be prepared to part with two first-choice midfielders.