Ex-Sunderland star 'not expected' to join Steven Gerrard in Saudi Arabia despite talks

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The latest on Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson's next move during the summer transfer window.

Former Sunderland midfielder Jordan Henderson is not expected to join ex-Liverpool teammate Steven Gerrard at Al-Ettifaq.

A report from the Daily Mailstates that the Liverpool captain is "reluctant" to move to Saudi Arabia despite initial talks between Henderson's intermediaries and Al-Ettifaq.

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The Mail says that the 33-year-old England midfielder would be "reluctant to join the Saudi Pro League at this stage of his career" with Henderson still having two years remaining on his Liverpool contract.

The likes of Crystal Palace attacker Wilfred Zaha and Chelsea striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang have also been linked with moves to Al-Ettifaq under the stewardship of Gerrard.

After initially rejecting the club's approach, Gerrard recently explained why he took the job in Saudi Arabia.

"There were a lot of reasons for me wanting to join the club. It has a lot of good people representing the club from the board down,’ said the 43-year-old.

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"When I went over to Saudi, I got a real family feel. They made me feel extremely welcome. There are three things that I always consider: it needs to be right for my family first and foremost, we have to be excited and motivated by the challenge.

"The football project needs to be ambitious and for the right reasons in terms of the challenge and the remit. Of course, you need to feel secure that the contract is right. That always comes at the very end.

"It was a combination of reasons. I’m extremely excited and happy. I can’t wait to start. I can’t wait to meet the supporters and the players. But the people I have met so far who represent Al-Ettifaq have been absolutely outstanding. We share a lot of things in common.

"I’m a coach and manager who is very ambitious. I like to work tirelessly to make sure the team is competitive. If we’re all united and together, and we all stay aligned, I’m sure we can achieve our goals together.

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"I think the league will continue to grow and evolve. With fantastic support from the government and ministers, and all the clubs throughout the Saudi Pro League and all the supporters and players, we all have an ambition to make it one of the best leagues in the world."

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