Former Liverpool footballer Jordan Henderson has been advised he can depart Saudi Arabia, lower than six months after his much-criticised transfer to play for a membership there.
Al Ettifaq, the Saudi Pro League aspect he controversially signed for final summer time, agreed to finish his contract on Wednesday.
He is returning to England to search for a brand new membership, after Al Ettifaq additionally stated he may depart their winter coaching camp in Abu Dhabi.
Ajax are favourites to signal him, in response to Sky Sports News, which stated on Monday that the Dutch membership was in talks with him and hoped to agree a deal this week.
Henderson, 33, was broadly criticised for signing for the Saudi membership in a £12m transfer from Liverpool final July, on a contract price a reported £700,000 every week.
He went to play for Steven Gerrard, a fellow former Liverpool captain, who was appointed as supervisor of Al Ettifaq final summer time.
It has been broadly reported that Henderson has struggled to settle into life within the Middle East. He is leaving after enjoying simply 19 instances for Al Ettifaq.
The midfielder had been a vocal ally of the LGBT group in soccer and wore rainbow laces throughout England’s run to the Euro 2020 ultimate.
He frequently voiced his assist for higher inclusivity within the sport.
3LionsPride, a fan group for LGBT England supporters, stated it was “beyond disappointed” when he made the change to the Gulf state, the place homosexuality is prohibited and in some circumstances punishable by demise.
In August, the group condemned Henderson’s choice for the England squad, saying that his “bank balance may be burgeoning, but our respect and his off-field legacy is lost – and can never be won back.”
Henderson made 491 appearances for Liverpool and captained the aspect to Premier League and Champions League titles. He additionally received the FA Cup and two League Cups throughout his time at Anfield.
After his departure, the stress is rumoured to be mounting on Gerrard as Al Ettifaq boss, with Jose Mourinho – sacked by Italy’s Roma this week – being tipped to exchange him.
Al Ettifaq are eighth within the Saudi Pro League, with 25 factors. Al Hilal, who signed Brazilian attacker Neymar in 2023, are prime – with 53 factors.
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If Henderson does signal for Ajax, a membership normally recognized for taking part in thrilling soccer and competing for the Dutch title, he’ll be part of a workforce which is struggling by its typical requirements. After a chaotic season, the Amsterdam-based workforce are fifth within the Dutch Eredivisie – 23 factors behind league leaders PSV Eindhoven.
Many high-profile gamers, largely in the direction of the top of their careers, have moved to Saudi Arabia to play in its Saudi Pro League in latest switch home windows, together with Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema.