Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson will be sold to Saudi Arabian side Al Ettifaq in a deal worth £12m.

The England international will reportedly earn £700,000 a week with the Saudi Pro League side, managed by his former Liverpool teammate Steven Gerrard.

The two clubs have reached a deal but the 33-year-old midfielder is yet to agree personal terms.

Henderson’s move to Saudi Arabia is controversial because he has been a vocal ally of the LGBT community in football.

He wore rainbow laces during England’s run to the Euro 2020 final and has repeatedly voiced his support for greater inclusivity in the game.

However, homosexuality is illegal and punishable by death in the Gulf state where he will now play football.

3LionsPride, a fan group for LGBT England supporters, said it was “beyond disappointed” after the deal was reached.

They had earlier criticised Henderson as rumours of a move to Saudi Arabia circulated last week.

The group said in a statement: “Our joy for Mr Henderson when he scored against Ukraine in the Euros (quarter-final) was, in part, due to his kindness and his ‘lucky’ rainbow laces.

“A banner was created to commemorate the low bar he had achieved in being outspoken on our right to support England and show visibility on the pitch.

“If the rumours are true, then that banner will be consigned to the depths of history.”

Read more:
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Gary Lineker says he knows two gay Premier League stars

Analysis: Many will be feeling betrayed by a man who seemed like a true ally

By Melissa Reddy, Sky Sports News senior reporter

The criticism will intensify. Jordan Henderson has been so vocal in his support, he felt like a true ally.

There was a community that looked to him, he was a beacon of light, a reference point for footballers, who took his lead and look to him for guidance on these matters.

He has been such an advocate for Rainbow Laces, he has been a football ally at the LGBT awards before, so there are so many things that just jar when it comes to this move.

Henderson will expect the criticism that is coming and will have thought long and hard about this. But I don’t think there is anything he can say or do to stop people from feeling betrayed, from feeling he folded at the first chance to make a stand.

There might be some who say this money changes his life, it doesn’t, it changes his legacy.

Henderson has been in Germany with Liverpool on their pre-season tour but was left out of manager Jurgen Klopp’s squad to face Karlsruhe in their first friendly on Wednesday.

He has made 491 appearances since signing for Liverpool from Sunderland for £20m in 2011 and skippered the side to Premier League and Champions League titles.

He has also won the FA Cup and two League Cups.

Henderson joins high profile names such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and N’Golo Kante in agreeing to move to Saudi Arabia.

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