In pictures: Liverpool start pre-season campaign
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Liverpool are highly unlikely to let Jordan Henderson leave the club this summer despite the uncertainty surrounding the midfielder’s contract situation, according to reports. Henderson is currently tied down until 2023 but finds himself at the centre of an unlikely rumour mill after it emerged that negotiations over a new deal on Merseyside have not exactly been going to plan.
When the former Sunderland man signed a five-year contract with the Reds back in 2018, it was a deal to allow him to spend his peak years with the club he joined a decade ago.
However, with Henderson now the wrong side of 30 and set to reach the end of his agreement in the not-too-distant future, it remains to be seen whether he will commit to Liverpool once again.
Discussions over the possibility of an extension have not started well, according to The Athletic, with both parties believed to be some way apart at this early stage.
Liverpool sporting director Michael Edwards is also reluctant to prioritise Henderson’s contract situation, with plenty of summer transfer business expected to be on the agenda in advance of the new Premier League campaign.
The reported standoff leaves the Reds with a dilemma over whether to cash in on their skipper or play the waiting game as the clock ticks down on his current deal.
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Arsenal and Leicester City have been credited with a shared interest in Henderson’s signature, but James Pearce of The Athletic has poured cold water on the likelihood of a premature move away from Anfield.
He told the Ask Ornstein show that he would be ‘amazed’ if Liverpool sell the midfielder this summer as a result of his pivotal role in shaping the club’s fortunes.
Henderson was a vital part of Liverpool’s recent Champions League and Premier League triumphs and has established himself as a true leader, both on and off the pitch, during his time with the Reds.
Pearce went as far as to say that a summer exit would be ‘unthinkable’ and suggested that any unwanted conclusion to the England man’s contract dilemma will be avoided for the time being.
The player himself recently hinted that he would be willing to play out the remainder of his career at Liverpool, admitting last October that he feels capable of performing at the top for a number of years.
“I’m just turned 30 and I still feel about 25 physically and I feel as good as I’ve ever felt,” said Henderson.
“I want to try to play as long as possible. I still love the game and I want to play for England and Liverpool as long as I can.”
Meanwhile, former Premier League striker Noel Whelan has declared that the Reds would be silly to let Henderson leave the club as they gear up to challenge Manchester City for next season’s domestic crown.
“I think it would be crazy not to offer him a new deal,” Whelan told Football Insider.
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“Despite not playing very much in the Euros, he’s important to Liverpool in terms of being a leader. That’s perhaps why Gareth Southgate selected him despite his injury.
“You can’t replace players who know the club and have that ability to get a team going through that leadership out there on the pitch.
“I’m sure as he is getting towards the latter stages of his career, there will be things that they [Liverpool] won’t want to offer.
“That’s what happens when you get to a certain point in your career and a certain age. He may well have to take a pay cut, maybe accept that he won’t play every game.
“He’s been ever-present for Liverpool so it’ll surprise me if they aren’t able to come to a compromise.”
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