How much will Jordan Henderson really earn in Saudi Arabia?

We're finally at the end, it seems.

On Wednesday evening, as Liverpool were playing their pre-season opener against Karlsruher SC in Germany, news broke that the Reds and Al-Ettifaq had agreed a deal in principle for the transfer of club captain Jordan Henderson.

While this was followed by reports that Henderson is actually still weighing up the offer, the move now seems inevitable, with just a medical and paperwork left to be completed.

Liverpool will get a reported £12m plus potential add-ons for the 33-year-old, whose contract at Anfield was due to run until 2025.

The fee represents something of a compromise from both parties. Al-Ettifaq had, supposedly, initially hoped to get Henderson without paying a transfer fee at all, while the Reds wanted £20m.

The deal, once completed, brings to an end Henderson's 12-year stay at Anfield, which includes eight years as captain and includes eight trophies. He leaves as one of the club's most successful ever captains, but his legacy has been tainted in some eyes due to both the nature of his exit and the choice of his next destination.

Why is Henderson leaving Liverpool?

While Henderson was always expected to be offered a diminished role for Liverpool in 2023/24, due to Jurgen Klopp's much discussed midfield rebuild, the other driving factor behind his choice to leave now is clearly the so-called "life-changing" money offered by Al-Ettifaq.

Initial reports used that term frequently, though how much one's life can really change in terms of financial security when you're already earning hundreds of thousands a week is up for debate.

Established European-based stars like Karim Benzema, Ngolo Kante, Ruben Neves and Roberto Firmino had been among those to take huge contracts in the newly-monied Saudi Pro League this summer, while Al-Ettifaq manager and Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard made Henderson his top target.

There was talk that the deal on the table that lured the former Sunderland midfielder would 'quadruple' his Liverpool salary.

How much does Henderson earn at Liverpool?

It's not public exactly how much Henderson's contract at Liverpool is worth though most estimates suggest a basic wage of between £140-190k a week (between £7.2-9.8m per year).

If quadrupled, that would put the Saudi offer at north of £700k a week — which is what was initially suggested by many.

For context, in terms of weekly wage, only Erling Haaland, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe earn comparable amounts in European football.

How much will Henderson actually earn in Saudi Arabia?

In contrast to that, when reporting the Liverpool skipper's impending move on Wednesday, Paul Joyce and Neil Jones (the Times), instead identified Henderson's proposed Al-Ettifaq wages to to be "about £350,000 a week" — a similar figure to that of his Reds teammate Mohamed Salah. However, it is said that Henderson's new salary will be tax-free.

Though significantly less than the earlier figures — there were even murmurs that Henderson agreed a new compromised salary as Al-Ettifaq cried poverty with Liverpool over a transfer fee — it is possible that the midfielder will still see his current post-tax pay quadrupled.

Henderson is in the top tax bracket in the UK and, as such, pays 45% income tax on his earnings, leaving him with a possible take home pay in the region of £77-105k a week from his Liverpool contract. Quadruple those figures and you've got close to £350k.

Who are the highest earning players in Saudi Arabia?

If the new numbers reported are true, Henderson might break the top five earners in the Saudi Pro League, though that is changing all the time with new arrivals coming thick and fast. Fabinho and Riyad Mahrez are set to be the next player to leave the Premier League for the Middle East, while Luis Diaz has even been targeted.

It is widely reported that Cristiano Ronaldo (Al Nassr) is the Pro League's biggest earner on a whopping £3.6m a week, while Karim Benzema (Al Ittihad) is on a similarly extraordinary £3.58m a week deal.

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