Former Manchester United star joins Gerrard in Saudi Arabia


Jesse Lingard is close to signing for Saudi side Al-Ettifaq, a team managed by former England and Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard.

Lingard played in a friendly and scored against Al Khaldiya this week, with talks continuing over a permanent deal.

Al Ettifaq boss Steven Gerrard wants Lingard to join his squad but is unable to do so until January due to Saudi Arabia’s foreign player rule.

The rules state that Saudi League clubs can only have a maximum of eight foreign players in their matchday squad.

As things stand at the moment, Al Ettifaq already have 10 players signed up, including former Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson and former Everton winger Demarai Gray.

Some of the foreign players in the squad will have to leave in January to make way for Lingard to officially become an Al Ettifaq player.

In an interview with Sky Sports earlier, Lingard did not rule out the possibility of one day playing in Saudi Arabia.

“I am considering all options. “I’ve never ruled out any club, so for me it’s just about choosing the right team and that’s what matters to me,” Lingard had initially said.

He further stated that in the coming years, Saudi Arabia will be a destination for many other players.

“Saudi Arabia is doing great things and in the next two years it will be one of the main destinations to go to,” he concluded.

Lingard remained a free agent after leaving Nottingham Forest when his one-year deal expired at the end of last season and has been training at Al-Ettifaq’s training center recently.