LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, January 22, 2022: Aston Villa's manager Steven Gerrard sticks his tong out as he walks back to the dressing room after the FA Premier League match between Everton FC and Aston Villa FC at Goodison Park. Aston Villa won 1-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Steven Gerrard WILL take new Saudi job despite rejecting previous offer

Despite claiming two weeks ago that he had turned down an offer to manage in Saudi Arabia, Steven Gerrard is now poised to take up the job.

* Gerrard has now been officially confirmed as manager of Al-Ettifaq.

Speaking as part of Channel 4’s coverage of England 7-0 North Macedonia a fortnight ago, Gerrard confirmed he had held talks with Saudi club Al-Ettifaq.

“I’ve been analysing that in the last few days, but where we stand right now, I won’t be taking that offer up,” he insisted.

It seemed to be a smart move from the former Liverpool captain, as though the Saudi Pro League is in the midst of a lucrative revamp, it is still widely viewed as a retirement league.

However, it has now been reported by The Athletic‘s James Pearce that Gerrard will, in fact, be taking over as manager of Al-Ettifaq.

This comes after talks were renewed last week, with the club now “increasingly confident of securing his services.”

If all goes as planned, then, the 43-year-old will be following Robbie Fowler to the Middle East, with the latter having taken a job with second-tier side Al Qadsiah FC last week.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, March 25, 2023: Liverpool's captain Steven Gerrard applauds the supporters after the LFC Foundation match between Liverpool FC Legends and Glasgow Celtic FC Legends at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Gerrard will be among the most high-profile acquisitions for the Saudi Pro League so far, after its takeover by the royal family’s Public Investment Fund.

The PIF now own a majority stake in four clubs – Al-Nassr, Al-Ittihad, Al Hilal and Al-Ahli – while Qadsia SC, Al-Diriyah Club, Al-Ula and Al-Suqoor FC are also owned by state-funded companies.

Cristiano Ronaldo has already been joined in the league by Karim Benzema, N’Golo Kante, Ruben Neves, Kalidou Koulibaly and Edouard Mendy.

Roberto Firmino is expected to be confirmed as an Al-Ahli player imminently, joining ex-Chelsea goalkeeper Mendy at the newly promoted club.

There are no major names in Gerrard’s prospective squad at Al-Ettifaq as of yet, though that is likely to change with assurances almost certain to be made to the incoming manager.