Liverpool are expected to complete the signing of Sunderland midfielder Jordan Henderson on Thursday in a deal worth around £20million.
The highly-rated 20-year-old agreed personal terms and visited the club's Melwood training complex on Wednesday before undergoing a medical at a hospital elsewhere in the city.
Liverpool were thought to have had initial bids of around £13million and £16million rejected before announcing they had agreed a fee on Wednesday. There has been no comment from either club on reports that the Reds' French striker David Ngog could be used a makeweight in the deal.
Sunderland had been reluctant to part company with one of their prized assets and an impressive advert for their youth system, but chairman Niall Quinn now says he will leave with their blessing.
Quinn said: "Jordan is a credit to himself, his family and Sunderland's Academy and everyone here wishes him the very best for the future. I'm pleased that we got the deal to a level that we felt was right for our club.
"We know the areas that need strengthening and the type of player we need in order to progress, and the job of bringing those players to the club is continuing at a pace."
Henderson won his first England cap against France last November and his value has soared over the past year, despite a recent dip in form. He is the second big-money departure from the Stadium of Light in 2011 after Darren Bent's January move to Aston Villa, but manager Steve Bruce should now have funds to strengthen.
The Wearsiders are understood to have tabled a bid in excess of £12million to Manchester United for Darron Gibson, Wes Brown and a third Old Trafford player. Speculation last night suggested the latter could be John O'Shea.
Henderson, who was also linked with Manchester United, is likely to be the first of a number of new arrivals at Anfield as manager Kenny Dalglish attempts to rejuvenate his squad this summer. Reports continue to suggest the club retain interest in Blackpool midfielder Charlie Adam and Ipswich youngster Connor Wickham is thought to be another target.
Henderson's signing also further underlines the willingness of owners Fenway Sports Group to invest in players following the combined £57.8million deals for Andy Carroll and Luis Suarez in January.
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