Jordan Henderson is one step closer to leaving Saudi club Al-Ettifaq after passing a physical with Dutch side Ajax, according to a source close to the discussions.
The 33-year-old England midfielder has just been at the Saudi club for six months after departing Liverpool, where he guided them to their first league championship in 30 years in 2020 and Champions League victory in 2019.
“Henderson arrived late on the first day of the Abu Dhabi camp. He practiced for two days before missing yesterday’s session to go to Dubai for medical exams with Ajax,” said the source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to AFP.
“The player justified his desire to leave the club by the request of England national team coach to move to a European club, to be able to participate in the European Cup (Euro 2024),” a person familiar with the matter said.
Henderson, of all the high-profile players to join the cash-rich Saudi Premier League, drew the most flak since he was an advocate for LGBTQ+ rights during his time at Liverpool.
Henderson was booed by English fans last year after going to Saudi Arabia.
Despite a significant investment in international players, Al-Ettifaq have struggled to compete in the league, and the club’s head coach, Steven Gerrard — Henderson’s old Liverpool colleague — is also said to be on the verge of departing.
Henderson would be an invaluable addition to Ajax as they look to rebound from their worst start in history, which had them momentarily bottom of the Dutch league.
They’ve had a dismal season, which concluded in a 3-2 defeat against amateur team Hercules in the cup.