Surprise Jordan Henderson stance on Newcastle United move revealed amid Saudi Pro League exit reports

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The former Liverpool captain has been linked with a Newcastle United move despite his Sunderland connections

Former Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson “would jump” at the chance to join Newcastle United, according to reports.

Talk has ramped up about the 33-year-old returning to Europe just six months after his controversial exit from Anfield. Henderson attracted more backlash than other high-profile stars who jumped ship to the Gulf state.

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His stance towards LGBT issues during his time as Liverpool captain saw many within the community speak out when he joined Al-Ettifaq. Saudi Arabia is a country governed by Sharia Law, a body of Islamic legislation which criminalises homosexuality.

Same-sex activity can be punishable by death, the main point of outrage at Henderson’s move. The ex-Liverpool captain previously declared his “intention has always been to help causes and communities where I felt like they have asked for my help” when discussing LGBT rights, while also being an advocate for the rainbow laces campaign.

Just months in his Middle Eastern exile, the midfielder is reportedly already angling for an exit. Claims from the Daily Mail suggest Henderson is struggling with the heat and criticism following his move has taken its toll.

Al-Ettifaq’s poor form has compounded matters, with manager Steven Gerrard failing to win since November. The club currently sit eighth in the Pro League and recently lost assistant manager Ian Foster to Plymouth Argyle.

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Newcastle have been named as one of the clubs Henderson could join should Al-Ettifaq allow his exit. That has stoked scepticism among Toon supporters given his Sunderland connections.

But The Athletic claim Henderson would be open to joining the Magpies despite being born and raised on Wearside and emerging through the Black Cats’ youth ranks as a youngster. Reporter Oliver Kay said: “If Newcastle were on the table, I think he’d probably jump at it, but whether he can actually get out and get the move he wants, I don’t know.”

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