Liverpool begin top four assault by agreeing Henderson fee

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This is expected to be a big summer at Liverpool as they look to assemble a squad that can challenge for a spot in the Champions League and their spending may have already started with the imminent signing of Jordan Henderson.

Liverpool have drawn up a shortlist of signings, with homegrown players with prior Premier League experience appearing to be the most desired.

Heading this list is long-time target Charlie Adam from relegated Blackpool, while Blackburn defender Phil Jones and Aston Villa winger Stuart Downing are others believed to be on the club’s radar.

However, it appears that Henderson will be the first arrival at Anfield, with reports circling that a £20m offer has been accepted by Sunderland for the England under-21 midfielder.

Meanwhile, they also benefit further from the deal as Liverpool will include striker David N’Gog in the transfer.

Liverpool finished sixth in the Premier League last season, ten points away from fourth-placed Arsenal and will know that a terrible opening quarter to the campaign realistically put paid to any serious hopes of finishing in the Champions League qualification places.

It is 1/1 in the Premier League odds that Liverpool finish in the top four next season, while they are 10/1 to make a giant improvement and win the title.

Sunderland manager Steve Bruce had previously stated his intentions to keep Henderson, but it appears that the transfer sum offered by Liverpool was just too much to turn down.

Although Sunderland would profit financially from the deal, they would still be left with another big hole to fill in the team, alongside the one made by Darren Bent when he moved to Aston Villa for a similar sum in January.

If they fail to spend the money on a replacement for Henderson they could be in for a tough campaign and it is 6/1 that Sunderland are relegated next season.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.