SOUVENIR PROGRAMME

LONDON, ENGLAND - Friday, October 13, 2023: England's captain Jordan Henderson lines-up before during an International Friendly match between England and Australia at Wembley Stadium. England won 1-0. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Jordan Henderson QUITS Saudi Arabia contract – already agreed to join next club

Jordan Henderson has now reached an agreement over the termination of his contract at Al-Ettifaq, it is claimed, as he finalises terms with his next club.

Less than 12 months into his three-year contract with Al-Ettifaq, Henderson’s dissatisfaction grew to the point that he has forced an exit from Saudi Arabia.

Reports over the midfielder weighing up his options began to surface at the start of January, though the Saudi Pro League side were claimed to insist their captain was not for sale.

That has now changed amid interest from Ajax, with The Athletic‘s David Ornstein among those to report that Henderson’s contract is now being terminated.

This comes following talks at Al-Ettifaq’s mid-season training camp in Abu Dhabi, with manager Steven Gerrard and sporting director Mark Allen involved in discussions over his future.

Henderson has since left to return to the UK where, according to the Telegraph‘s Sam Wallace, talks will continue over a transfer to Ajax.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, May 20, 2023: Liverpool's captain Jordan Henderson during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Aston Villa FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Per Ornstein and Wallace, the 33-year-old already has an agreement in principle with the Eredivisie side, with Dutch publication Voetbal International reporting that he is expected to sign a two-and-a-half-year deal.

There is still a chance Henderson signs for 18 months with an option for a further year, with it explained that he has made a “major financial sacrifice” to join.

That likely comes with Ajax’s top earner, Steven Bergwijn, reported to be earning around £75,000 per week, which is significantly less than Henderson was paid by Al-Ettifaq.

While a move to Ajax may come as a surprise, there is a clear reason for this: under tax law, Henderson cannot return to work in the UK until 2025 without repaying what were tax-free earnings in Saudi Arabia.

LONDON, ENGLAND - Friday, October 13, 2023: England's captain Jordan Henderson leads his side out before an International Friendly match between England and Australia at Wembley Stadium. England won 1-0. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Voetbal International corroborate reports in England that Henderson’s move is not yet finalised.

But it is now due to be pushed through “in the coming days,” with Wallace explaining that the player “came to realise that his time in Saudi was likely to have a serious impact on his selection for England.”

He is increasingly unlikely to start for England at this summer’s Euros either way, with the emergence of Curtis Jones among the new factors for Gareth Southgate to consider.