Following a week of turmoil surrounding Raheem Sterling’s contract impasse, one could almost have forgotten there’s another young England international at Liverpool whose contract situation is a touch uncertain—or even more so, given his contract has a year less left on it. No longer, as the Daily Star claim that Jordan Henderson is on the radar at Chelsea and set for a £22M summer switch.
Henderson recently insisted he saw his future at Liverpool and that while the papers might make a big deal of it, he didn’t see his contract as a major issue and expected it to be done following the end of the season. With only a year to go, though, if it doesn’t get done shortly, rumours of a move away for Henderson could turn serious, and questions already have to be asked about the club allowing his deal to run down as far as it has.
Unlike with Sterling, Liverpool wouldn’t be owed any compensation if Henderson’s contract were to expire and he left for another English club, and if the players show up for pre-season training this summer without Henderson having a new deal, the choice between selling him or risking losing him on a free would be a very real dilemma. It’s also easy to imagine a scenario where the only serious shoppers are other English clubs.
Selling Henderson to Chelsea might have seemed unthinkable a year ago, but if next season kicks off and he doesn’t have a new deal, it becomes entirely plausible. The training compensation Liverpool would be owed for Sterling gives the club some protection. That doesn’t exist in Henderson’s case, and with his contract expiring in 2016, Liverpool could be forced to take what they can get from the likes of Chelsea, Arsenal, or Manchester City.
Whether Chelsea really are interested in him is of course an entirely different matter. But if they are, and if a new deal doesn’t get done by August at the very latest, they could well get him. It’s going to be a fun summer.