Liverpool ‘shocked’ by one aspect of £12m transfer after ‘frightening’ deal accepted, president phoned

Liverpool ‘shocked’ by one aspect of £12m transfer after ‘frightening’ deal accepted, president phoned

Liverpool were ‘shocked’ by the amount of paperwork that was necessary to complete the ‘fiendishly complicated’ £12m sale of captain Jordan Henderson.

Henderson brought his 12-year Anfield stay to an end this summer with a controversial move to Saudi Pro League side Al-Ettifaq, managed by former Reds teammate Steven Gerrard.

The move has attracted intense criticism due to Henderson’s supposed LGBTQ+ allyship, which hardly tallies with his decision to play in a country where homosexuality is illegal and can be punishable by death.

But it seems as though the fax machines in Merseyside and Dammam were put under the most strain as the toughest part of the transfer to navigate were the contracts and fine print.

In an ‘inside’ story on the transfer, The Athletic say that ‘the paperwork’ was ‘fiendishly complicated’ and ‘the level of bureaucracy has shocked those involved with the deal’.

It is also claimed that Henderson only started to consider a reunion with Gerrard in the Middle East once he held talks with Jurgen Klopp that made it clear his starting role would diminish in the upcoming season.

READ MORE: ‘We wanted to keep him’ – Liverpool boss Klopp makes ‘rocks and stones’ claim over Henderson transfer

Henderson played 43 games in the disappointing 2022/23 season, only missing a handful of matches as captain.

But the signings of Alexis Mac Allister and Dominik Szoboszlai in an ambitious summer midfield rebuild meant his opportunities were likely to be reduced, as confirmed in private and ‘amicable’ talks with Klopp.

The decision to leave essentially came down to ‘what his role was likely to be in the forthcoming season, something only Klopp could tell him’. The Liverpool manager was said to be ‘frank’ in explaining that ‘Henderson was unlikely to be a regular starter’.

‘Henderson, understandably given his achievements at Liverpool, was reluctant to play the role of a backup, seeing himself as a leader on the field as well as off it.’

Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson kissing the Champions League trophy.

Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson kissing the Champions League trophy.

After subsequently deciding to accept an offer that promised to quadruple his Anfield wages with a move to Al-Ettifaq – a source says “the money on the table was frightening” – Henderson had to wait for the two clubs to agree a fee.

The Saudi side had hoped to offset the overall costs of the deal by bringing the 33-year-old in for free, but Liverpool were understandably insistent on getting some money of their own.

During those protracted negotiations, Henderson ‘had two phone calls with Liverpool’s principal owner John W. Henry,’ who presumably asked what the Saudi side were smoking.

While that selfish Liverpool demand threatened to ruin the entire deal, a £12m fee was agreed and the deal was on.

Henderson left Liverpool’s training camp in Germany on July 19, had a medical in Manchester two days later and said his farewells to staff on Monday before greeting the Reds squad as they returned from their pre-season training camp.

In a talk with the players, Henderson ‘stressed that one of the reasons he was leaving was a desire not to hold the club back’.

READ MORELiverpool make ‘sensational loan move’ for Mbappe with Reds ‘encouraged’ a deal will be struck

Video ⚠️UNEXPECTED TRANSFER! £100M is Liverpool's Perfect Replacement