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Jordan Henderson: Former Liverpool captain wants Premier League return six months after Saudi Arabia move

Former Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson wants Premier League return six months after controversial Saudi Arabia move; the midfielder was heavily criticised when leaving Merseyside for Al Ettifaq in the summer; Henderson's costly contract may prevent any potential transfer in January

Jordan Henderson has been criticised for his move to Al Ettifaq
Image: Jordan Henderson was heavily criticised for his move to Al-Ettifaq in the summer

Jordan Henderson wants to return to the Premier League this month but his Saudi club Al Ettifaq will not allow the England midfielder to leave cheaply.

Henderson made a high-profile move to Saudi Arabia in July to link up with former Liverpool team-mate Steven Gerrard, who had taken over as manager of Al Ettifaq a few weeks prior.

The 33-year-old cost Al Ettifaq in the region of £13m and they are reported to be paying him a weekly wage of around £350,000.

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Saudi Pro League director of football Michael Emenalo had said Jordan Henderson would be a 'wonderful addition'

Results on the pitch have been indifferent, with Al Ettifaq winless in the Saudi Pro League since late October and languishing in eighth place, some 28 points behind leaders Al Hilal.

Jordan Henderson of Al-Ettifaq looks on during the Saudi Pro League match between Al-Ettifaq and Damak at Prince Mohamed bin Fahd Stadium on September 02, 2023 in Ad Dammam, Saudi Arabia.
Image: Jordan Henderson's Al-Ettifaq side are winless since October

Al Ettifaq are aware Henderson has not settled. The midfielder is looking at other options, but any potential move would have to work for all parties.

Assistant manager Ian Foster left the club in recent days and was appointed manager of Championship side Plymouth Argyle.

What Henderson said when he made Saudi move

Speaking to The Athletic in September, Jordan Henderson said:

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"People will see this club come with loads of money and he's just gone, "Yeah, I'm going." When in reality that just wasn't the case at all. People can believe me or not, but in my life and my career, money has never been a motivation. Ever.

"So do I go somewhere to try something new, to grow the game that I love in another country, and grow the league into one of the best in the world? That excites me because I want to grow the sport all over the world. And that got me going, really.

"I think there was always going to be criticism regardless of what I did, whether I stayed, whether I went. So basically I had to make the decision on what was best for me and my family.

"Now, when I was making the decision, the way that I tried to look at it was I felt as though, by myself not going, we can all bury our heads in the sand and criticise different cultures and different countries from afar. But then nothing's going to happen. Nothing's going to change."

Klopp: He didn't call me!

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Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp insisted he is not paying attention to any talk Jordan Henderson could return to the club

Speaking after watching his side knock Arsenal out of the FA Cup to progress to the fourth round, Klopp laughed off the suggestion Liverpool could be a potential destination for Henderson.

"He didn't call me," he said.

"We spoke actually but it was not about that, so really I have nothing to say about that."

Follow the January transfer window

The winter transfer window is now open and will close at 11pm in England and midnight in Scotland on Thursday 1 February, 2024.

To ensure harmonisation with the major leagues in Europe, the closing dates were set following discussions with the EFL, DFL, Serie A, LaLiga, and LFP, who will all close their summer and winter windows on 1 September and 1 February respectively.

Keep up to date with all the latest transfer news and rumours in our dedicated Transfer Centre blog on Sky Sports' digital platforms, while you can also catch up with the ins, outs and analysis on Sky Sports News, including daily transfer shows, and listen to our Transfer Talk podcast.

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