In significant but perhaps somewhat unsurprising news, Jordan Henderson will play no part in Liverpool’s pre-season opener against Karlsruher.
The Reds will begin preparations for 2023/24 with their first friendly in Germany on Wednesday evening, but that will take place without the help of the skipper.
Henderson has been a huge story in recent days having agreed terms on a move to the Middle East to join Steven Gerrard’s Al-Ettifaq.
The Saudi Pro League side have yet to reach an agreement with Liverpool over a transfer fee, with uncertainty emerging over their capability to stump up an appropriate amount.
Paul Joyce of the Times confirmed just hours before the Reds’ pre-season was scheduled to begin against the German outfit that Henderson will miss the action, fuelling speculation that the 33-year-old could be on his way out of the club.
Henderson’s midfield partner Fabinho also looks set to make the switch to the evergrowing league, with confirmation of a £40 million transfer to Al-Ittihad anticipated in the coming days.
The captain’s absence could either suggest that negotiations between the two clubs remain ongoing or simply that Jurgen Klopp has chosen to keep Henderson away from the spotlight for the time being.
It is a constantly moving story and one with the potential for many twists and turns to come, but for now fans will have to wait to see if the leader remains at the club beyond the summer.
Wednesday evening’s friendly will be followed by a meeting with Greuther Furth on Monday, by which point everybody connected with the club will hope to have more clarity on the situation.
Henderson still has two years remaining on his current contract and Liverpool are under no obligation to sell despite the astronomical wages widely reported as being on offer.