Football Sports News

Steven Gerrard News: Liverpool legend closing in on next managerial job

Steven Gerrard has been out of football management since his sacking at Aston Villa in October 2022, but it would appear the wait for his next opportunity is coming to an end. After previously managing Villa and also Rangers, his next move is set to be announced.

It would appear that the lure of football in Saudi Arabia is not just for high-profile players such as Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema, as manager’s are not getting in on the act. According to Rudy Galetti, an Italian journalist and transfer expert, Gerrard is primed to be named the next manager of Al-Ettifaq, who play in the Saudi Professional League (SPL).

Gerrard was reportedly spotted in the city of Dammam, a city of some 1,500,000 in Saudi Arabia. The 43-year-old has been pondering over the possible move. He has been undertaking media commitments in recent times in his absence from the dugout, but it would appear that he won’t have to wait much longer.

Galetti himself went as far as saying it is a ‘done deal’, meaning an announcement could be imminent confirming this news. Earlier this year, it was reported by Meczyki that Gerrard could be the next manager of the Poland national team, but Fernando Santos, previously the Portugal Head Coach, has since taken on that job.

The Saudi Pro League is currently in their off-season after the previously campaign concluded a few weeks’ ago. Al-Ettifaq finished 7th in the 16-team league, finishing 30 points off the top-two and just nine points above the bottom-two relegation places. They’ve twice won the SPL title, but the last of those in the 1986-87 season.

Gerrard himself has already earned a trophy of his own as a manager to add to the lengthy list he achieved as a player. The 2005 UEFA Club Footballer of the Year won the Scottish Premiership title in 2020/21, which came a year after finishing as runners-up in the Scottish League Cup.

This certainly won’t be the last big name to make the switch to this part of the club. With Gerrard set to take charge of Al-Ettifaq, he already has a couple of relatively decent names at his disposal within the squad. Tunisian international Naïm Sliti is on the books, as is ex-Mainz striker Robin Quaison.

A source close to the situation informed Reuters yesterday that Gerrard had indeed been offered the chance to return to management in Saudi Arabia,

“Al-Ettifaq made an offer to Gerrard. He welcomed the idea, but asked for time to study the offer.”

It would seem that he has not needed long to think over this next move. Many will possibly question his ambition in making this switch, which some could assume is financially driven. Then again, a job is a job, and Gerrard needs to rebuild his reputation. Leeds United had been another club linked with his signature and was installed as favourite with bookmakers to take the job.

Gerrard therefore looks to be returning to management with a club that many would not have expected. This will be his third senior managerial role.

Subscribe to Punditfeed on Google News for all the latest updates from the world of sports!