By India Today Sports Desk: Former Aston Villa and Rangers manager Steven Gerrard has confirmed that he turned down a move to coach in the Saudi Pro League. Gerrard was sacked by Villa last season and has not taken up a managerial job since then.
Speaking to Channel 4 as quoted by Reuters, Gerrard said he was invited to Saudi Arabia to look at a potential offer, which he did not take up. The 43-year-old guided Rangers to their first Scottish Premiership title in 10 years in 2021 before leaving for Aston Villa, where he was sacked last October.
“I was invited over there to look at a potential offer, which I did. I have been analysing that over the last couple of days. But, as we stand right now, I won't be taking that offer up,” said Gerrard.
Saudi Pro League making moves
Following the arrival of five-time Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo last season, the Saurdi Pro League has been making moves for several players plying their trade in the top-flight of European football.
Last year’s Ballon d'Or winner Karim Benzema made a significant move by joining Saudi Arabian club Al-Ittihad as a free agent. After leaving Real Madrid following 14 successful years, Benzema signed a three-year deal with the Saudi champions and will wear no. 9 shirt. Benzema's decision to leave Real Madrid was influenced by a lucrative offer from Saudi Arabia, estimated to be over 100 million euros.
2018 World Cup champion N’Golo Kante is also close to joining Al-Ittihad on a two-year deal. The Premier League winner with Chelsea and Leicester City is set to sign a two-year deal with the club, with an option of a year’s extension. In fact, Chelsea is looking to offloads a few players to Saudi Arabia, with Hakim Ziyech, Edouard Mendy, Kalidou Koulibaly and Romelu Lukaku also linked to a move.