Jordan Henderson, the oft-touted successor to Steven Gerrard as the next Liverpool captain, has sparked widespread panic amongst Reds fans by allegedly refusing to extend his Anfield contract.
An improved weekly wage of £80,000 is reportedly not enough for the son of Sunderland, who wants at least six figures deposited into his bank account every seven days.
The 24-year-old’s stock has rapidly risen in recent seasons and continues to surge skywards with every passing game, as he simultaneously grows more and more integral to Liverpool’s success.
It’s a statement supporters of Brendan Rodgers’ side would be in unanimous agreement with and few would dispute Henderson being worthy of a pay check capable of rivalling the club’s top earners.
However, having established himself as the glue in Liverpool’s midfield, the England international should seek a move elsewhere.
It wasn’t too long ago that the Reds were universally mocked for their decision to invest £20m in Henderson, who struggled to realise his potential during his first season with the club.
His hefty price tag was a key factor behind the mass derision he drew, but his club barely stood by their current vice captain when the critics were out in force.
Indeed, upon taking the reigns ahead of the 2012/13 campaign, Rodgers was especially keen to axe the man whose fan club he now chairs meetings for.
Were it not for Henderson’s decision to reject the ‘opportunity’ to join Fulham, the Ulsterman would’ve had yet another blotch on his heavily stained transfer copybook, as he bizarrely strived to secure a swap deal for Clint Dempsey.
The fact that the former Sunderland star has become a staple in the Liverpool side is owed more to good fortune than expert coaching.
In a complete reversal of roles, it’s the Reds who are now desperate for Henderson to stay, but if they’re not prepared to pay him accordingly, why should he?
Manchester City’s desire to invest in English talent this summer has been extensively documented in recent days and central midfield is an area where they’re looking to improve.
They’ll be able to match the Merseysiders’ asking price and the players’ wage demands too, while they also boast far greater trophy-winning potential.
The Citizens are likely to be just one of several suitors vying for Henderson’s services if he does decide to leave Liverpool – rated 11/10 to finish in the top four this term – and he should be pushing to make such a switch happen.