In a shocking turn of events, Steven Gerrard has decided to leave his role as the manager of Rangers and join Al Ettifaq, the Saudi Arabian club, as their new boss. The former Liverpool legend had previously rejected an offer from the Middle Eastern side, citing his commitment to the Scottish champions and his desire to continue his project at Ibrox. However, he has now changed his mind and agreed to a lucrative deal that will make him one of the highest-paid managers in the world.
Gerrard, who led Rangers to their first Scottish Premiership title in 10 years last season, breaking Celtic’s dominance, was widely regarded as one of the most promising young managers in Europe. He had also guided his team to the knockout stages of the Europa League for two consecutive seasons, earning praise for his tactical acumen and man-management skills. He was also linked with a possible return to Liverpool in the future, as a successor to Jurgen Klopp.
However, he has now decided to take on a new challenge in Saudi Arabia, where he will be in charge of Al Ettifaq, a club that finished seventh in the Saudi Professional League last season. Al Ettifaq have been looking for a new manager since they parted ways with Brazilian Leonardo Ramos in May. They had initially approached Gerrard in June, but he turned them down. However, they did not give up and came back with an improved offer that reportedly includes a salary of £15 million per year, as well as a hefty transfer budget and full control over the squad.
Gerrard said that he was “delighted” to join Al Ettifaq and thanked Rangers for their support and understanding. He said that he felt that it was the right time to take on a new challenge and that he was impressed by the ambition and vision of Al Ettifaq. He also said that he was looking forward to working with the players and staff and that he hoped to bring success and trophies to the club.
Rangers said that they were “disappointed” by Gerrard’s decision but wished him well for his future endeavours. They said that they were grateful for his contribution to the club and that they would begin the process of finding a new manager as soon as possible. They also said that they were confident that they had a strong squad and staff that would continue to compete at the highest level.
Al Ettifaq fans have expressed their excitement and optimism about Gerrard’s arrival, hoping that he will be able to transform their club into a dominant force in Saudi Arabia and beyond. They have also welcomed him with banners and chants at the airport and at the club’s stadium. Gerrard will be officially unveiled as Al Ettifaq’s new manager at a press conference on Tuesday.
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