I've tried my hardest to bite my tongue over the whole Jordan Henderson to Liverpool affair the national press seem obsessed with. Purely because I think it's absolute bull. If there's truth in it, and he hends up going, I'll hold my hands up and say "I was wrong" no problems whatsoever.
That said, there's a few facts to consider in the whole thing, so here I go to try and prove a few points on why I think it's a load of codswallop.
Firstly, Henderson signed a new contract last year committing him to the club until 2015, so there is no 'need' to sell quite so urgently. He isn't huffed off in a Darren Bent way, and we all know after hearing from anyone who's willing to talk about the lad having met him he's incredibly level-headed.
Secondly, despite the national press claiming this that and the other 'offers upped' etc, both teams have said to their local rags that there is no bid in place.
Thirdly, anyone who was at the Niall Quinn Roadshows in March will recall that Quinny said "We aren't looking to sell him, and we aren't inviting bids. Even Welbeck + Cash wouldn't tempt, and we trust him entirely not to do a Darren Bent".
Fourthly, there are no quotes from anyone connected to the deal. Nothing from a club, agent, manager, chairman or player of either team to say that there is something going on. Of course this could be because they want to keep their cards close to their chest, but by the same token if it was so 'nailed on' you'd have heard something a little more concrete than 'friends say' and 'insiders say'... all of whom are about as incisive as the 'Sky Sources' we love to hate.
Fifthly, the stories seem all so familiar. Where have I heard these before... Hmmm... See if you can spot the difference in these...
XXXXXX boss XXXXXX is ready to make a last-ditch attempt to persuade Sunderland midfielder Jordan Henderson into joining him at XXXXXX.
We revealed last week that the 20-year-old England new boy would prefer a move to XXXXXX rivals Manchester United because he felt there would be more chance of first-team football.
But XXXXXX remains a huge fan of the playmaker, who has been hailed as "the best young British footballer around" by his Sunderland boss Steve Bruce.
And that’s why XXXXXX has asked XXXXXX executive XXXXXX to press ahead with moves to tempt £20million-rated Henderson away.
It would be a major coup for XXXXXX to put one over United, especially as Henderson has his heart set on a move to Old Trafford.
The Black Cats are obviously desperate to keep hold of their top prospect and handed him a five-year contract last April, keeping him with the club until 2015.
But Bruce knows he won’t be able to fend off the big clubs forever – and XXXXXX have the financial muscle to blow even United out of the water.
Henderson played for England’s Under-19, Under-20 and Under-21 sides before making his first full senior appearance under Fabio Capello against France in November and is highly-rated by the Italian coach.
Ok, and now this one...
XXXXXX boss XXXXXX will offer to pay Jordan Henderson FOUR TIMES his Sunderland salary in a desperate bid to hijack the England starlet’s expected switch to Manchester United this summer.
XXXXXX hopes to agree a fee with Steve Bruce’s club and reckons he is closing in on a deal worth up to £16million with the Black Cats.
Henderson is reported to be shocked by developments, particularly XXXXXX proposal to hand him a £65,000-a-week contract, when he currently gets £15,000.
But United boss Sir Alex Ferguson still reckons he is the one holding all the aces in the race. He is considering swop and loan deals with his former skipper Bruce after talks last week. Ferguson has asked to be kept informed if the Wearside club decide to cash in on £20m-rated Henderson, who is heading to Denmark this summer as a key member of Stuart Pearce’s Under-21 side.
Ok and lastly...
JORDAN HENDERSON looks set to seal a blockbuster £20m move to XXXXXX as early as this week before he heads to Denmark with the England U21 side.
The move would see Henderson become one of the highest earners at XXXXXX and is a sign of just how highly he is rated by XXXXXX manager XXXXXX.
The young midfielder, who won his senior cap for England in November last year has been on the radar of many of the top teams in the league, however it would appear that XXXXXX have won the race to sign him after an improved offer of £20m was accepted last week according to our sources at the Stadium Of Light.
Henderson is said to be rocked by the news, but understands he must move in order to further his international ambitions, and to increase his chances of playing European football.
XXXXXX is said to be delighted with the deal, and is a real statement of intent as XXXXXX look to make a concerted push towards taking the Premier League title next season for the first time in XXXXXX years.
Ok, have you spotted much difference? They all seem pretty the same to me... well In the style of a newspaper, I can EXCLUSIVELY reveal...
The first is from October 2010, when he was 'nailed on' and 'desperate to sign' for Manchester City. The second is from this year, to Liverpool. As for the last? I've just made that up now.
All follow the exact same structure, and all of them, including the one I made up seem incredibly similar, whilst none of them have a quote from a credible source. We've been down this road before. There's no need for Sunderland to sell, even at a purported £20m or so. Why all of a sudden is it so guaranteed that he'll move to Liverpool, when the same bullcrap stories circulated last year? Almost word for word the same.
Oh and by the way, the first two are from the same newspaper, only around a year apart. Stunning journalism. I won't name them, but it rhymes with The Reeple. Look through all your news sources, go on, you'll find the same story in every single paper.
Everybody calm yourselves down until somebody says something.
I've presented my evidence on why I think it's a load of rubbish, now Mr Newspaper, you give us your evidence that its nailed on as you seem to suggest without actually backing it up so far...