Jordan Henderson would leap at the chance to join forces with Luis Suarez once again if he departs Liverpool, according to reports.
Henderson, 31, is linked with a shocking Anfield exit following 10 years of service after no progress was made during initial discussions over a contract extension.
The midfielder has 24 months remaining on his current deal and it would be a huge surprise for the Champions League and Premier League-winning skipper to depart.
But Liverpool chiefs have a clear preference to invest in youth and may not compromise on their wage structure and transfer strategy even for a club legend who has made 392 appearances.
Henderson has established himself as one of the Premier League’s most consistent and hard-working operators in recent seasons and duly has multiple admirers.
Atletico Madrid are one such suitor, reports The Athletic , presenting Henderson with the chance to reunite with Suarez, which he is very keen to do.
The duo spent three seasons playing together for the Reds and fell just short in the Premier League title race in 2014 before Suarez moved to Barcelona.
Henderson and Suarez remain close friends to this day, while the latter joined Atletico last year and helped Diego Simeone’s side win La Liga.
Atletico boss Simeone builds his teams around gifted midfielders renowned for their strength and work rate, so Henderson would certainly fit in at the Wanda Metropolitano.
But the report casts doubt on whether the Spanish club have the finances available to sign Henderson from Liverpool and pay his wages, even if the Reds are willing to let him depart.
This may hand the advantage to the other principal suitor for Henderson: Paris Saint-Germain.
Mauricio Pochettino is believed to be a big fan of Henderson and has already swooped this summer to sign Georginio Wijnaldum on a free transfer from Liverpool.
The PSG boss is keeping close tabs on the situation and the French club certainly have the funds available to pull off the signing.
PSG do not shy away from signing players in their 30s on high wages, as evidenced by their moves for Sergio Ramos and Wijnaldum this summer.
Meanwhile, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp would be loath to lose Henderson, whom he views as the role model who has set the tone for the Reds’ success in recent seasons.
The German would not hesitate to tie Henderson down to a new contract if it were solely up to him, but Fenway Sports Group (FSG) bosses and Liverpool sporting director Michael Edwards also have a say.
Reds owners FSG are said to view 2022 as a year of rebuilding what is currently an ageing squad, so they may be unwilling to hand Henderson a lucrative new deal.