Liverpool legend Steve McManaman has revealed he expects Jordan Henderson to remain at Anfield this summer, despite being heavily linked with a move to Saudi Arabian club Al-Ettifaq. The 33-year-old midfielder has agreed a £700,000-a-week contract with the team managed by Reds legend Steven Gerrard, but the transfer hangs in the balance, with Al-Ettifaq struggling to meet Liverpool’s £20m asking price for the player.
McManaman believes that Henderson’s recent participation in pre-season training with Liverpool indicates that he is not planning to leave the club, and expects him to stay put for the upcoming season. However, the former Liverpool star also highlighted the potential challenges that Henderson may face if he decides to move to Saudi Arabia, including the country’s stance on same-sex couples, which may affect Henderson’s family life.
McManaman also suggested that a move to Saudi Arabia could harm Henderson’s international prospects, as the football played in the Saudi Pro League is less competitive than the top leagues in Europe. He believes that if Henderson does move to Saudi Arabia, he will lose his chances of representing England at Euro 2024 and beyond.
Henderson’s potential move to Saudi Arabia has also drawn criticism from a Liverpool LGBT fan group, who released a statement expressing concerns about homosexuality being illegal in the country. It remains to be seen whether Henderson will make the move to Al-Ettifaq, or whether he will stay at Liverpool for what would be his 12th season at the club.