JORDAN Henderson is focused on securing a starting spot for England’s European Championships opener despite the speculation persisting over his future.
The Echo understands Liverpool have now made an approach for Henderson and there have been talks between the two clubs.
But Sunderland are determined to keep hold of Henderson and Liverpool will need to match the £20million-plus asking price if the Black Cats are to even consider offloading a player who has four years left on his contract.
The two clubs are a long way apart in their valuations and there has been no contact between Merseyside and Henderson’s camp.
With Black Cats boss Steve Bruce still on holiday and Henderson set to fly out to the championships on Wednesday, the saga looks set to rumble on throughout the summer.
But Henderson’s focus remains on England, with Stuart Pearce’s U21 side facing favourites Spain in their opening European Championships group game on Sunday.
The Sunderland midfielder played the opening 45 minutes of yesterday’s dress rehearsal for the tournament – helping England to a 2-0 victory against Norway at Southampton.
“It’s important for everyone to give their best to get into that starting XI,” said Henderson.
“Hopefully whoever starts will be good enough against Spain.
“It was great to get a win yesterday and get the clean sheet.
“Training has been brilliant and we’re looking forward to next weekend now.
“Everyone wants to try to get into the starting XI for next week so we’re doing everything to do that. Now we can look forward to the Spain game.
“There’s great togetherness in the squad. Everyone’s good friends and get along well and you can see that out on the pitch.”
England had spent the previous week at a training camp in Spain and they looked sharp against a raw Norwegian side who rarely threatened.
Henderson was bright in the first half of a fairly tepid encounter - playing a part in Daniel Sturridge’s ninth minute opener for the hosts.
The Sunderland man was then one of five players replaced at the interval, along with ex-Black Cats loanee Danny Welbeck.
England’s remaining group games are against the Ukraine and Czech Republic before the knock-out stage of the competition gets underway on June 20.