Following talks to take up a lucrative managerial role in Saudi Arabia, Steven Gerrard has now confirmed he “won’t be taking that offer up.”
As the royal family’s Public Investment Fund oversees a financial revamp of the Saudi Pro League, Gerrard has been subject of speculation this month.
With a number of players attracted to the Middle East with big-money offers, the Liverpool legend received an approach to return to management.
Talks were held with Al-Ettifaq, with Gerrard pictured in the country last week, and it was expected that he would take up the job.
But speaking during Channel 4’s coverage of England vs. North Macedonia on Monday night, he revealed his plans to reject their offer.
?? 'I won't be taking that offer'
— Channel 4 Sport (@C4Sport) June 19, 2023
“To be honest with you, there’s been a lot said in the media. A lot of it’s not true, I can say that,” he explained.
“I was invited over there to look at a potential offer, which I did.
“I’ve been analysing that in the last few days, but where we stand right now, I won’t be taking that offer up.”
The decision comes as something of a surprise, with it even claimed in some sources that the deal was already agreed and that Gerrard would follow the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema to the league.
But it speaks to his ambition as a young manager that he has opted against joining a venture which, despite the efforts of the PIF, is still viewed as a retirement home.
Gerrard is clearly taking his time when it comes to choosing his next step, having seen his reputation take a blow following his sacking at Aston Villa last year.
If he is to restore his image and return to the Premier League, as is likely his wish, heading to Saudi Arabia is unlikely to be the best option.