Liverpool giant Gerrard arrives in Dammam to negotiate contract offer to manage Ettifaq

Saudi Arabia’s Ettifaq Club officially opened negotiations with former Liverpool Captain Steven Gerrard.

The club officials received Gerrard upon his arrival at King Fahd International Airport in Dammam on Monday. The details of the contract offer are being unveiled during the negotiations that kicked off in Dammam.

The former captain of the English national team arrived in Saudi Arabia following reports that he was considering an offer to become coach of the Saudi club.

“Ettifaq made an offer to Gerrard. He welcomed the idea, but asked for time to study the offer,” the source pointed out earlier.

Gerrard is considered one of the most famous English coaches, as he led Aston Villa to seventh place in the English Premier League last season, and he previously played for Liverpool and the English national team.

If Gerrard accepts the offer, he will take over as the technical manager of the first team of Ettifaq Club, succeeding the Spanish Coach Antonio Cazorla, who led the Dammam-based team to finish 7th of 16, with 37 points, during the recently concluded season of the Roshn Saudi Professional League.

Gerrard, 43, left his role as coach of Aston Villa last October after a run of poor results. Prior to that, Gerrard led Rangers to the Scottish Premier League title in 2020-2021 season, finishing the season without any defeats.

The French daily L’Equipe reported that Gerrard is the latest big-name football icon to be linked with a move to Saudi Arabia.

The daily confirmed the negotiations of Ettifaq with Gerrard, saying the club has made an offer to Gerrard for two seasons, and he has requested a deadline until next week to take his final decision.

L’Equipe stated that Gerrard also has two offers from Leicester City and Leeds United, who were relegated to the First Division last season.

Gerrard played 710 games and scored 185 times for Liverpool in a trophy-filled career that also saw him captain his boyhood club.

Widely regarded as one of the finest footballers of his generation, and England’s finest ever midfielders, he is best remembered for leading Liverpool to Champions League glory in 2005.

His first senior football management job saw Gerrard take Glasgow Rangers to an historic league and cup double in a season in which they went undefeated.

A spell with Aston Villa in the Premier League ended unsuccessfully and Gerrard has been without a club since October of last year.

The top-tier Saudi Pro League, which ranked 58th in the world, embarked on an aggressive period of recruitment, luring the Portuguese legend Cristiano Ronaldo and French superstar and best player of 2022 Karim Benzema to their shores to play for Al-Nassr and Al-Ittihad respectively.

The Saudi league has been in the news after Al-Nassr signed Ronaldo for an enormous sum at the end of last December, while Benzema, the former Real Madrid captain, joined Al-Ittihad last week.

It is expected that the coming period will witness the announcement of many more contracts at the level of coaches and players after the launch of an ambitious project to privatize sports clubs with attracting huge investments.

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