June 18, 2024

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Leeds United linked manager performs shock u-turn as two-year deal agreed with club

Steven Gerrard has made the move to Saudi Arabia after being linked with the Leeds United vacancy

Steven Gerrard has joined Saudi Arabian side Al-Ettifaq on a two-year deal after being linked with the Leeds United vacancy.

The former Liverpool and England midfielder managed Rangers and Aston Villa, enjoying a successful time in Glasgow but lasting less than 12 months in Birmingham

The 43-year-old had been linked with the Elland Road hotseat after the decision to part ways with Sam Allardyce, but the Champions League winner never made the club’s shortlist of candidates.

Gerrard said in June he had been invited to Saudi Arabia “look at a potential offer” to take charge of a club in the Gulf state but that he would not be taking it up.

Steven Gerrard CONFIRMED as manager of Saudi Arabian side Al-Ettifaq after  making shock U-turn | The Irish Sun

However, he has performed a surprise U-turn after signing a two-year contract with Al-Ettifaq, who ended last season in seventh in the 16-team Saudi Pro League

Newcastle United’s majority owners, Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund, recently purchased a 75 per cent stake in Al-Nassr, Al-Hilal, Al-Ittihad, and Al-Ahli.

However, Gerrard’s new club are prepared to invest heavily to compete against the wealth of their counterparts with former Liverpool and Barcelona player Coutinho linked with a move to the club. Wilfried Zaha, now a free agent, is also a reported target.

Steven Gerrard CONFIRMED as manager of Saudi Arabian side Al-Ettifaq after  making shock U-turn | The Irish Sun

Leeds are expected to soon name Daniel Farke as their next manager after an exhaustive process. The former Norwich City boss twice led the Canaries to promotion from the Championship.

The Whites will be keen for some stability after Jesse Marsch, Javi Gracia and Allardyce all took charge of the club last term, alongside caretaker coach Michael Skubala

United kick off their Championship campaign at home to Cardiff City next month having returned for pre-season training on Monday.

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