Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson confirms his departure in a farewell video to fans.
The 33-year-old midfielder appears to be heading to the Saudi Pro League in a deal of £12 million plus add-ons.
Henderson wrote on Instagram, “Just know, I will always be a Red, until the day I die.”
Henderson led Liverpool to their first Premier League championship in 30 years in 2020.
Which players have joined the Saudi Pro League this summer?
During his time on Merseyside, he also won the Champions League, FA Cup, two League Cups, the Uefa Super Cup, and the Fifa Club World Cup.
Henderson will reunite with former Liverpool captain and teammate Steven Gerrard, who is now the manager of Al-Ettifaq.
He travelled out with the Liverpool squad to their training camp in Germany earlier in July, but he did not appear in any of their pre-season games after an initial bid of £12 million was accepted.
The midfielder joined the Reds from Sunderland in a £20 million transfer in June 2011 and appeared in 492 games, scoring 33 goals and registering 57 assists.
In the video, Henderson says it was difficult to leave his boyhood club more than a decade ago, but “when Liverpool come knocking, you don’t say no.”
“I can’t lie, there have been hard times, really hard times,” he added. But when I look back on my time at Liverpool, I will always recall the happy times.”
Henderson described the Champions League final in Madrid in 2019 as his “favorite night,” in which the team defeated Tottenham to win its sixth trophy in the league, as his “favorite night,” and stated there were “no words” to express the support during the march around the city.
He referred to the fans as “the best in the world,” adding, “there can be no doubt, there is no doubt.”
Henderson made no mention of his transfer to Saudi Arabia in the video.
Following the broadcast of the video, fans have been thanking Henderson on social media, and Stonewall, the LGBTQ+ organization that organizes the Rainbow Laces campaign, has also congratulated Henderson.
Some have criticized Henderson’s decision to move to Saudi Arabia, including Liverpool’s LGBT+ fans organization Kop Out, which has encouraged him to reconsider.
Fabinho, another Reds midfielder, has been connected with Saudi side Al-Ittihad, who launched a £40 million approach for the Brazilian on 15 July, but his move appears to be in risk while negotiations continue.
Liverpool are ready to fly to Singapore for two pre-season games, one against Leicester City on July 30 and one against Bayern Munich on August 2.
Many high-profile players have joined the Saudi Pro League this summer, including former Liverpool forward Roberto Firmino and Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy. Riyad Mahrez, a Manchester City winger, has also agreed to a £30 million agreement with the club.
Meanwhile, Al-Ittihad have signed former Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema, ex-Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante, and former Celtic attacker Jota.
Al-Hilal has signed Portugal midfielder Ruben Neves from Wolves, as well as Senegal defender Kalidou Koulibaly from Chelsea.